What is an onomatopoeia?

We explain what an onomatopoeia is, how this linguistic representation and animal onomatopoeias can be classified.

  1. What is an onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeias is called the linguistic representation of natural or non-discursive sounds by words . That is, the formation of words in their own language to imitate certain nonverbal sounds, such as animal sounds, natural phenomena, impacts, devices, etc.

Onomatopoeias are considered a stylistic resource of the language and are often used in literary works, radio soap operas and comic strips, as well as being characteristic of children’s speech, in which the animals are named according to their onomatopoeias: “the wow-wow “For dog. Onomatopoeias are not universal, however, and each language has its own , according to its phonetic and cultural characteristics.

Onomatopoeias is usually distinguished according to the idea they seek to convey, as follows:

  • Auditory onomatopoeias. Those that represent the sound through words created specifically for it, such as “ticking” for the sound of the clock, “pum” for firing a cannon, etc.
  • Visual onomatopoeias. Characteristics of a certain type of poetry , they sought to represent a visual image through the spatial arrangement of words and / or letters on the page, creating so-called  calligrams  or graphic metaphors.
  1. Animal onomatopoeia

The most common onomatopoeias of animal sounds in Spanish are:

  • Chickens :  Tweet
  • Roosters :  Kikirikí
  • Hens :  clo
  • Ducks :  quack
  • Cats :  meow
  • Dogs :  wow
  • Sheep :  bee
  • Pigs :  oinc
  • Frogs :  croac
  • Cows :  muu
  • Crickets :  cri-cri
  • Bees :  bzz
  • Snakes :  ss s
  • Horses :  iiih
  • Howls :  auu
  • Grunts :  grr

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