This article analyzes and compares the meanings of two English contact verbs: slap and smack. Although they are sometimes regarded as synonymous in their primary senses, evidence is adduced to show that each verb has a distinct meaning. Corpus data are used to identify the everyday patterns of each verb's use and the analysis and discussion focus on the syntactic and semantic implications of these patterns. Attention is also given to the social and cultural factors that have influenced the way...[Show more]
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