The goal of this work is to investigate the peculiarity of ideophones, an universal linguistic category that “seems to occupy a shadowy world of unofficial linguistic inquiry” (Nuckolls 2001: 132); this is particularly true for the Western linguistic tradition, strongly tied to the Greek and Latin grammarians typologization of the parts of speech. After having showed the difficulties of identification and definition of this newborn category, we describe the constellation of the more widespread features of ideophones in the world’s languages on the different linguistic levels: an unusual phonotactics, an intonational and gestural foregrounding; their aversion for derivation and inflection and their preference for the “expressive” morphological process of reduplication; their syntactic aloofness and their expressive, sensorily grounded semantics; their main functions and uses. Last but not least, in some languages ideophones are few and marginalized and some other languages are losing them, and we argue that they are less vital in the cultures displaying an ancient literary tradition and an ancient tradition of grammar studies.

Ideofoni

Castagneto, Marina;
2016

Abstract

The goal of this work is to investigate the peculiarity of ideophones, an universal linguistic category that “seems to occupy a shadowy world of unofficial linguistic inquiry” (Nuckolls 2001: 132); this is particularly true for the Western linguistic tradition, strongly tied to the Greek and Latin grammarians typologization of the parts of speech. After having showed the difficulties of identification and definition of this newborn category, we describe the constellation of the more widespread features of ideophones in the world’s languages on the different linguistic levels: an unusual phonotactics, an intonational and gestural foregrounding; their aversion for derivation and inflection and their preference for the “expressive” morphological process of reduplication; their syntactic aloofness and their expressive, sensorily grounded semantics; their main functions and uses. Last but not least, in some languages ideophones are few and marginalized and some other languages are losing them, and we argue that they are less vital in the cultures displaying an ancient literary tradition and an ancient tradition of grammar studies.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/105040
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact