Dr Pier Pischedda

Dr Pier Pischedda

Tutor in Linguistics and Translation Studies

Summary: Semantics; sound symbolism; Disney comics/movies; translation; diachronic linguistics; CAT tools; phonetics and phonology

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; LING2410 - Language Change

Research Background and Academic Interests

I hold an AHRC-funded PhD in Applied Linguistics at the University of Leeds, which explored the linguistic and cultural implications of creating and translating ideophones—such as onomatopoeia—and interjections in Italian Disney comics. During my PhD, I was the recipient of a Library of Congress Research Fellowship based at the Kluge Centre in Washington DC, USA, where I spent six months carrying out archival work in order to build the linguistic corpus that represented the central part of my thesis.

My research interests mainly revolve around the use and translation of sound symbolism in comic books, movies and literature for young readers in Italian, English, Spanish and Japanese. In particular, I am interested in the implementation of corpora to help with diachronic sound symbolic research and in the role of sound symbolism in conlangs (invented languages) - Esperanto, Elvish, Simlish and the Valyrian languages, in particular.

Concurrently, I am also interested in inquiries focusing on multimodality, visuality and textuality in literature and films for younger readers, Disney studies, neology, semantics and historical linguistics.

My theoretical experience is balanced by a strong professional background within the language industry. Since 2011, I have in fact been working as freelance linguist providing language consultancy and translation services to various companies in the fields of marketing, computational linguistics, community management and education - experience that I bring into the classroom to train aspiring future translators on the use of computer-assisted translation tools and on how to set themselves up as freelancers.

I am currently involved in the teaching of various modules in theoretical linguistics and translation studies in both BA and MA programs at the University of Leeds and at the University of Hull.

I am happy to provide guidance to students of all levels on the followings topics:

  • Sound symbolism, iconicity of language and cross-linguistic comparison;
  • Comics, picture books and manga studies;
  • Linguistic theory: translation studies, psycholinguistics, historical and diachronic linguistics, phonotactics, phonetics, morphology, neology, conlangs.
  • Corpus creation


  • 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.


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. The Linguistic Rebel: Semantic and Syntactic Peculiarity in the Use of Ideophones in Italian Disney Comics. The Language Scholar (3). Available online: http://languagescholar.leeds.ac.uk/the-linguistic-rebel-semantic-and-syntactic-peculiarity-in-the-use-of-sound-symbolic-forms-in-italian-disney-comics/

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 consideration)

Pischedda, P. S. 2017. The Comic Book as a Site of Ambivalent Sound Symbolic Collaboration. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group. (under consideration)

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'.