Dr Pier Pischedda

Dr Pier Pischedda

Teaching Assistant in Linguistics and Translation Studies

Summary: Sound symbolism; comics studies; translation studies; diachronic linguistics

Location: Michael Sadler Building

Teaching Commitments: MODL1060 - Language: Structure and Sound; MODL5000M - Computer-assisted Translation; MODL5001M - Methods and Approaches in Translation Studies; LING1100 - Language: Meaning and Use

Research Interests

My research interests include: sound symbolism (interjections, onomatopoeias, ideophones) and comic books in translation and diachrony in both Western (Italian, English, Spanish) and Asian languages (Japanese, in particular), multimodality, visuality and textuality in comics and books for younger readers, Disney studies, neology, semantics and historical linguistics.

Feel free to get in touch if you need any advice on the following topics as part of your BA/MA/PhD dissertation:

  • Sound symbolism, iconicity of language and cross-linguistic comparison;
  • Comics, picture books and manga studies;
  • Linguistics: translation studies, psycholinguistics, corpus linguistics, historical and diachronic linguistics, phonotactics, phonetics, morphology, neology; 
  • Languages of interest: Italian, English, Spanish and Japanese.

My AHRC-funded PhD research project explored the linguistic and cultural implications of creating and translating ideophones—such as onomatopoeia—and interjections in Italian Disney comics. I looked into the way sound symbolic forms in imported US comics have profoundly influenced the development of Italian language and culture in the last century. Since the 1930s, the incorporation of English ideophones into Italian comics has forced the Italian language to accommodate unfamiliar linguistic symbols. My project mapped the influence of the United States on Italian culture through a comparative reading of ideophones in 1930s-90s translated American Disney comics and in more recent, original Disney comics by Italian cartoonists. My research involved the creation of a corpus of ideophones from 200 Disney stories published between 1930s and the present day. The corpus collection has been carried out in different bibliographic archives based in Florence (Italy), Milan (Italy), Madrid (Spain) and at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC (USA).


  • BA American English and Japanese - School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Turin, Italy (2010)
  • MA Applied Translation Studies - School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, UK (2011)
  • PhD Applied Linguistics (Italian/Translation Studies) - School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, UK (2016)


  • AHRC PhD Scholarship in Italian Studies (full bursary); 
  • AHRC Overseas Study Visit Support 2013-14: Funding awarded to carry out archival research in different Italian comics archives in May-June 2014;
  • AHRC RTSG Award 2015: Funding (£1015) awarded to spend three weeks working on my PhD project at the National Library in Madrid (Spain) in May 2015;
  • AHRC IPS Fellowship - John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC (Oct14-Feb15) - (more information about the scheme can be found here) - Funding awarded to spend five months as a Kluge Center Research Fellow consulting the library's extensive materials for my research project.
  • MLA Travel Grant: Funding ($400) awarded to attend the Modern Language Association Convention in Austin, TX between 7th-11th January 2016. 
  • LHRI Short-term Postdoc Fellowship (June-August 2017): winner of a three-month fellowship based at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute. As part of this role, I will be drafting two articles and a monograph application on the use of language in Italian and US comics in the 20th century. The award also includes a small travel grant.


Jeff Kinney (author), Rossella Bernascone, Pier S. Pischedda (translators). 2012. Diario di una Schiappa - La Dura Verita'. Milano: Editrice il Castoro.

Pischedda, P. S. 2012. Immagini suoni impressioni. Esperienze a tentoni di un traduttore in erba sulla traduzione dei libri per ragazzi. In: Tradurre. Translation Journal. Issue 3. Available online: http://rivistatradurre.it/2012/11/immagini-suoni-impressioni/.

Pischedda, P. S. 2017. Anglophonic Influence in the Use of Sound Symbolism in Italian Disney Comics: A Corpus-based Analysis. Open Linguistics. 3: 1. De Gruyter. (under review)

Pischedda, P. S. 2017. Translating English Sound Symbolism in Italian Disney Comics: A Corpus-based Analysis. (drafting) 


In addition to my teaching commitments at Leeds (see above), I am also a Teaching Fellow in Translation Studies at the University of Hull, where I teach two modules and supervise dissertations for students enrolled in the MA in Translation Studies. 

Conferences, Talks and Presentations

LAEL 7th Postgraduate Conference 2012. University of Lancaster (UK). 13 July 2012. Poster presentation.

'Translation of Children's Literature from English into Italian'. Centre for Translation Studies Away Day. University of Leeds (UK). 11 January 2013. 

'Anglophonic Influence in the Use of Ideophones in Italian Disney Comics'. Kluge Research Center Work-in-Progress Talk. Library of Congress, Washington, DC. 18th February 2015.

 'Creating and Translating Ideophones in Italian Disney Comics: a Corpus Analysis'. 6th Sociolinguistics Summer School. Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland). 3rd-9th August 2015.

'Creating and Translating Ideophones in Italian Disney Comics: A Linguistic and Historical Inquiry'. 131st MLA (Modern Language Association) Convention. 'New Work in Language Theory' panel. Austin, TX. 7-10 January 2016.

'Creating and Translating Ideophones in Italian Disney Comics: A Linguistic and Historical Inquiry'. 11th International Symposium on Iconicity and Language in Literature. Brighton, UK. 6-8 April 2017.

Organisations and Projects

I am part of the team of editors for Open Linguistics, a peer-reviewed journal covering all areas of linguistics.  

I have been part of the LiveItaly project team, with the aim of 'showcasing, increasing awareness of, and raising interest in contemporary Italian culture in Leeds, Yorkshire, and the North of England'.