The semantics of interjections: An experimental study with natural semantic metalanguage

Anna Nikolaevna Gladkova, Ulla Vanhatalo, Cliff Goddard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The paper reports the results of a pilot experimental study aimed at evaluating natural semantic metalanguage (NSM) explications of English interjections. It proposes a novel online survey technique to test NSM explications with language speakers. The survey tested recently developed semantic explications of selected English interjections as published in Goddard (2014a): wow, gosh, gee, yikes ("surprise" group) and yuck, ugh ("disgust" group). The results provide overall support for the proposed explications and indicate directions for their further development. It is interesting that respondents' preexisting knowledge of NSM and other background variables (age, gender, being a native speaker, or studying linguistics) were shown to have little influence on the test results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-865
Number of pages25
JournalApplied Psycholinguistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Cite this