Manual A Phonetic Study of West African Languages (Second Edition)

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How does language ideology shape linguistic inquiry? Ideophones speak to these and other fundamental questions about linguistic theory and practice. The goal is to highlight how work on ideophones has led to innovations in linguistic theory and methods, and how it may motivate a redrawing of the margins of language.

To this end, it presents a mostly linear narrative, interspersed with overviews of historical terminology Table 1 , iconic associations attested in ideophones Table 2 , examples of the impact of ideophones on general linguistics Table 3 , reported magnitudes of ideophone inventories Table 4 , and current questions for which ideophones provide critical evidence Table 5.

The final section summarises some common misconceptions, lessons learned, and challenges provided by ideophones. The words in focus here have not always been known by the same name. Though confusing at times, the proliferation of terms usefully highlights some key aspects of ideophones. Some of the labels characterise semantic or pragmatic functions expressive, descriptive, intensifier. Some foreground morphosyntactic properties radical, particle, adverb. Some focus on mode of representation imitative, Lautbild, picture word. And some labels align ideophones with phenomena familiar to the investigator onomatopoeia, interjection, Schallwort.

Most of the terms in Table 1 come from grammatical descriptions of particular languages, and they reveal a degree of language-specificity. For instance, depending on the language, ideophones may pattern with verbs or with adverbs, or they may form their own word class Childs a , and they may imitate mostly sounds or more often a broad range of sensory scenes. Despite such differences, there are enough cross-linguistic similarities to identify a common core that can serve as a basis for cross-linguistic comparison.

They are WORDS , conventionalised lexical items that are made up of phonemes and are listable and learnable. What does it mean to be marginal? In discussing the margins of language, it is useful to make a distinction between rara and marginalia. They are not rare, but linguistic practice assigns them to the margins by consensus. Until recently, ideophones have been treated as marginal in this subjective sense.

In many languages, ideophones are a major lexical class on a par with nouns and verbs, counting hundreds to thousands of lexical items Samarin b ; and see Table 4 below. Yet in most grammatical descriptions, they appear as stowaways in minor chapters on interjections and other marginalia, if they appear at all.

The marginal representation of ideophones in descriptive grammars reinforces the idea that they have no linguistic properties worth describing — a neat example of a self-perpetuating myth. As long as grammars can have blind spots the size of a major lexical class, we have not found the proper way to model the grammar of lexicalised depictions like ideophones. To neutralise the narrative of marginalisation we must briefly consider its origins. It springs from two common ways of making sense of ideophones: assimilation and exceptionalism.

Equating ideophones with such exuded expressions obscures the fact that they are quite distinct in form, meaning and use, not to mention sheer number. An equally potent form of assimilation is to identify ideophones with onomatopoeia, sound-imitating words most familiar to speakers of Standard Average European languages. In reality, ideophones depict many aspects of sensory scenes beyond sound, and onomatopoeia make up only a minor portion of most well-described ideophone inventories Samarin This statement would prove to be fantastically wrong, yet ideophone exceptionalism remained an alluring perspective until recently Newman Ironically, exceptionalism often arises out of attempts to counteract assimilation, yet has the same effect: relegating ideophones to the margins of language.

This review walks the fine line between assimilation and exceptionalism. It highlights the unique significance of ideophones while showing how they are shaped and constrained by the linguistic systems they are part of. It shows how ideophones are distinctive, but also how they support generalisations about semiotics, semantics and syntax.

It does so by reviewing how work on ideophones sheds new light on what is possible and probable in language. After all, we can only critically examine received notions of marginality if we have all the relevant evidence. Two structural observations are made: these words are marked by the quotative —iti , and they often occur in reduplicated form.

This continuity is not often recognised and presents opportunities for research on the diachrony of ideophone systems. In Western philology, some of the first mentions of ideophone-like words appear in grammatical treatises of Japanese. The Japanese have a great number of adverbs which serve not only to express the manner of an event, but which also indicate the sound, the noise, the posture of the thing. Rodriguez []: It would take until halfway through the 19 th century before ideophones were recognised as a phenomenon worthy of broader attention in Western linguistics, and the first descriptions came from students of African languages.

In the s, three linguists independently noted large numbers of ideophones in West-African languages. Another three years later, the German missionary Schlegel wrote a first grammar of Ewe, a Kwa language from southern Ghana and Togo, and devoted a chapter to a special type of vivid sensory adverbs. With the first descriptions of ideophone systems in Yoruba, Vai, Kanuri and Ewe, we may call the s the decade of the discovery of ideophones in Western linguistics. As language description in Africa continued, ideophones began to be noticed more often, especially in the Bantu languages of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Still, for every early grammar that does mention ideophones there are several that keep silent on the matter. Some of the early treatments stand out because of their attention to everyday language use. For example, in the following description by Whitehead we recognise not only the depictive nature of ideophones and their rich meanings, but also their common occurrence in everyday speech:.

Whitehead This period also saw a spate of new descriptive work outside of African linguistics, most of it by scholars with a strict regional focus. Grammont published a comparative study focusing on Indo-European languages which introduced the term expressifs for this phenomenon in the Francophone literature.

Leskien produced a lexical and grammatical description of Schallnachahmungen sound imitations in Lithuanian, a Balto-Slavic language. Winkler-Breslau described Klangfiguren sound pictures in Caucasian languages and was convinced their prevalence in these languages was quite unique. Urtel drew attention to a large number of imitative and reduplicative words in Basque. Based in part on descriptions of ideophones, the psycholinguist Wundt observed that imitation in speech need not be limited to sound but can also recruit articulatory gestures and repetition to depict movement and visual features.

To cover such phenomena, he proposed the broader term Lautbilder picture words , which would later be adopted more widely in German linguistics. Throughout the second half of the 19 th century we see a gradually accumulating body of knowledge that helped form the foundation for more sophisticated accounts of the meaning and use of ideophones. Around the turn of the century, a number of accounts appeared that would decisively shape ideas about ideophones in linguistics and beyond.

It is perhaps not a coincidence that Junod should be one of the first linguists to offer a balanced assessment of the significance of ideophones, for he was an extremely prolific and wide-ranging field worker, publishing a Ronga grammar and quadrilingual vocabulary , a translation of the Bible, a collection of chants and texts, and an ethnography, the English translation of which would become an early anthropological classic The Life of a South African Tribe, In his Ronga grammar, Junod described adverbes descriptifs as highly salient words that evoke a spectacle, a sound, an idea, a movement, an appearance, or a noise.

Like others before him, he noted that ideophones went far beyond the imitation of sound, and his characterisation ticks all the boxes of the crosslinguistic definition of ideophones, recognizing their markedness, depictive nature, and sensory meanings.

Interactive Phonetic chart for English Pronunciation

Acutely aware of differences in language ideology, he preempted an objection that is still all too common Nuckolls :. The versatile and spontaneous mind of the people is reflected in this picturesque talk.


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It enables these words to render nuances which a more restrained language could not express. Junod f. He showed they were widely used in everyday conversation as well as in songs and tales, and drew attention to their semantic specificity and poetic potential. Diedrich Westermann started his scholarly career in West-Africa working on Ewe, a language spoken in present-day Ghana and Togo.

His writings, mostly in German, offer some of the most compelling early observations on ideophones. Westermann started by explicating the link between sensory perception and ideophones. He observed that ideophones often occur as adverbs modifying verbs of perception like look, feel and sound, and contribute highly specific sensory meanings. This is especially clear in characterisations like the following:. Ideophones describe a process or object as a whole, not focusing on a single aspect but highlighting primarily its living, moving features.

Westermann In a few broad strokes, Westermann and his Ewe consultants captured what is perhaps most distinctive about ideophones: the fact that they are not prosaic words but rather poetic performances, depictions that use verbal and visual means to enable others to imagine what it is like to perceive the scene depicted.

This collection of carefully glossed expressions —concrete examples that vividly illustrated the direct appeal to the senses made by ideophones— made a wide impact. In two pioneering studies Westermann ; compared ideophones in half a dozen West-African languages and described how features like reduplication, tone, vowel quantity, vowel quality and muscle tension appeared to be systematically related to some aspects of the meanings of ideophones Table 2.

This made Westermann one of the first to outline a range of recurrent iconic associations in lexical items across languages. Some iconic associations and oppositions attested by Westermann ; Westermann charted how ideophones use different aspects of speech to create perceptual analogies between form and meaning. Two important facts arise from his data. Ideophones often show this type of relative iconicity, with related forms mapping onto related meanings. Low tone does not have one single inherent meaning but can evoke multiple possible meanings, including large size, slow speed and darkness.

Conversely, size can be expressed in multiple ways, from tone to vowel quality. It follows that sound-meaning associations are probabilistic, not deterministic. The iconic mappings attested in a given language are only a subset of a much wider range of possible mappings, and they are shaped and constrained by linguistic history as much as by the affordances of sounds and meanings. This underlines the need for cross-linguistic and typological approaches to lexical iconicity. Studies of pseudowords like maluma and taketa or the more recent bouba and kiki might have avoided reductive attempts to locate simple meanings in single sounds, cognitive scientists would have had early access to a rich palette of iconic associations attested in natural languages, and sensory scientists could have used ideophones to explore universality and diversity in cross-modal correspondences.

In reality, ideophone studies and experimental work on sound symbolism continued in splendid isolation for at least another half century, like ships passing in the night see Levelt —1, —45 for the experimental psycholinguistic side of this history.

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Artists were fascinated by these accounts of exotic forms of language. Clement Martyn Doke was a linguist working mainly on South African languages. He was concerned with describing Bantu languages on their own terms and developed a unified framework for grammatical description in his Bantu Linguistic Terminology Doke argued the ideophone was a part of speech on a par with better known categories like nouns, verbs and adverbs.

It implied that a study of a Bantu language would not be complete without a description of its ideophone system. In the next decades, this launched a flowering of studies of ideophones in Bantu. In the longer term, it helped bring a measure of respectability to the study of these words in general. Whereas Westermann drew connections to sensory language and pioneered research into iconicity in ideophones, Doke recommended classifying ideophones according to the number of syllables or tonal melodies, without explaining why this would be informative or useful Doke ; As a consequence, the next decades saw relatively little work on the meaning and use of ideophones.

Research on ideophone-like phenomena now began to pick up pace around the world. Uhlenbeck and Carr drew attention to iconic and expressive words in Austronesian languages like Indonesian and Malay. A dissertation by Thun discussed reduplicative words in English. Jendraschek mentions a literature on ideophones in Turkic languages, of which Marchand on Turkish and Householder on Azerbaijani are exponents in Western academia though a larger portion is in Russian and Turkish.

An answer emerged in work on Shona and Sesotho, two Bantu languages of southern Africa: perhaps ideophones were fundamentally different in semiotic terms, as words that show rather than tell. The notion of dramatisation was made explicit by Daniel Kunene, who highlighted the similarity of ideophones to performances. Ideophones emerged as multimodal performances, inviting the listener to imagine what it is like to perceive the scene depicted. Kunene supported his take on the depictive nature of ideophones with attentive observations of language in face-to-face interaction.

He found that ideophones could sometimes even be substituted by a gesture, carrying dramatisation to its logical extreme. He noted that the vocal realisation of ideophones had gestural properties. Analysing ideophones as dramatic performances allowed Kunene to make headway on the relation between ideophones and intensification. For Kunene, intensification simply arose as a side effect of the depictive quality of ideophones. Up to the late s, the different threads of ideophone studies were effectively insulated from each other: there was essentially no interaction between the geographical subtraditions of sub-Saharan Africa, Japan, South—East Asia, India, and Turkey.

As he noted:. Elsewhere in the world […] we find similar classes of words. What is striking about them, as with African ideophonic words, is that 1 they display a great deal of play with sounds, that 2 they are predominantly reduplicative, that 3 their phonology is in some respects different from that of all other words, and finally, that 4 they have very specific meanings sometimes difficult to define.

Samarin b: Such a wide geographic and historical distribution indicates that ideophones are a characteristic of natural language in general, even though they are conspicuously undeveloped and poorly structured in the languages of Europe. Diffloth The crosslinguistic perspective breathed fresh air into studies of ideophone systems. Noting a need for more precision in semantic description, Samarin developed a battery of methods for investigating the meanings of ideophones Samarin ; a.

These included ways to study lexical relations synonyms and antonyms in ideophones, investigating phonosemantic correlations, and devising questionnaires to measure consistency and variability of the forms and meanings of ideophones. With the crosslinguistic significance of a lexical class of ideophones more or less settled, the Dokean focus on the word class status of ideophones lost its urgency. Diffloth ; drew attention to a number of widespread acoustic and articulatory iconic patterns in South—East Asian ideophone systems.

Diffloth noted that the iconicity and gradience of ideophones posed problems for models of language that rely on a strict dichotomy between meaning and phonological form. The momentum created by the work of Samarin and Diffloth led to a spate of new studies on form-meaning associations in ideophones, along with theoretical proposals about their linguistic composition. Several authors independently catalogued how speech sounds and syllable structure in ideophones provided perceptual analogies of event structure Wescott for Bini ; Collins for Malay ; Awoyale for Yoruba.

In the s and s, the increased prominence of ideophones began to make an impact on broader linguistic theory and practice. One sign of this was their appearance in The Sound Shape of Language , a wide-ranging review of phonetics, phonology and sound symbolism by noted linguists Jakobson and Waugh Indeed, ideophones would turn out to have important theoretical consequences for a number of key areas in general linguistics Table 3.

Observations of phonosemantic patterns in ideophones had important implications for theories of phonology and morphology relying on a strict distinction between formal features and meaningful elements. An analysis of vowel harmony in Korean ideophones in terms of phonosemantically based features influenced theories of autosegmental phonology Kim-Renaud ; McCarthy In each of these cases, the crucial point was that ideophones were different from other words, but in systematic ways. One of the earliest accounts of nonconcatenative morphology, long a formidable theoretical puzzle, relied heavily on evidence from Korean ideophones, Semai ideophones, Hta echo-words, Hengxian reduplicatives and related sound-symbolic phenomena.

She showed that analysing ideophones as iconic helped explain apparent irregularities in their synchronic and diachronic behaviour, for instance their resistance to processes of regular sound change. Liberman used this distinction in the service of an analysis of intonation as similarly two-faced, with iconic and arbitrary aspects. Around the same time, scholars began to start experimental testing of the iconic associations found in ideophones.

In short, it was clear that ideophones could no longer be ignored; indeed their growing prominence threatened the watertight distinction between form and meaning presupposed by many theories. Overall, the picture in this period was one of theories in flux, with ideophones contributing crucial data and motivating theoretical innovations.

The situation was radically different from even two decades before, when ideophones were the remit of only a small set of area specialists and anthropologists. Though only an introductory note setting the tone of a paper focusing on iconicity in syntax, this was another highly visible argument from authority denying lexical iconicity any typological or theoretical significance. However, by now, the flood of work was virtually unstoppable and scholars working on iconicity began to be more outspoken. Work since the s has been rich and varied. Reflecting the increasing body of work on the topic, some important consolidations of ideophone research appeared.

In the wake of the Sound Symbolism volume, Kulemeka offered a useful comparison of the African and Asian subtraditions in ideophone studies, noting that in Africa, the focus has been predominantly on the word class status of ideophones the legacy of Doke and Newman , while in Asia the focus had been more on iconic patterns in ideophones following the lead of Uhlenbeck and Diffloth. A steady stream of descriptive studies continued to favour topics like word class status and iconicity Awoyale ; Kulemeka ; Hamano ; Black ; Beck , but this period also brought novel lines of work made possible by new methods and the increased availability of cross-linguistic data.

This included work on gesture Kita ; Klassen , sociolinguistics Childs b ; Lydall , translation Noss ; Toratani , neuroimaging Osaka , and word learning Yoshida ; Imai et al. A recurring observation in work on ideophones is the sheer size of the lexical class they make up in many languages. Many grammatical descriptions characterise ideophones as an open class Childs a and when specific numbers are mentioned, they often run into the thousands Table 4.

The precise numbers are less important than what they imply about grammatical significance and functional load. While minor word classes may be dismissed by some as marginal or of limited importance to linguistic analysis, it is much harder to make such arguments for languages with thousands of ideophones. As Kakehi et al. A key feature of ideophones is that they evoke sensory qualities like motion, manner, texture, and colour, often as modifiers of noun and verb phrases.

This puts them partly in the same business as adjectives and adverbs, and renders them relevant to typologies of manner and property-denoting expressions. In an influential typological treatment of such modifying expressions, Dixon proposed a continuum from strongly adjectival to strongly verbal languages.

One could argue that as a consequence, the typology can only be partially valid. Indeed, as Ameka points out based on data from Ewe, the inclusion or exclusion of ideophones has major implications for the typological generalisations that can be made. A similar development can be seen in typological studies of motion expressions. Languages have long been divided into verb-framed and satellite-framed types based on how the path of a movement is expressed Talmy In subsequent typological work, manner of motion was recognised as an important dimension covarying only partly with the original path-based typology.

Recent work on Quechua ideophones raises further challenges for motion event typology Nuckolls Classical motion event typology privileges the finite verb, but in Quechua, ideophones are at least as important sometimes even replacing the verb. Moreover, as Nuckolls points out, the idea that the typology is a result of optimising the expenditure of communicative effort is hard to square with the elaborate and energetic use of ideophones in motion expressions. Cases like these raise the question to what extent our typological generalisations are skewed by a priori assumptions and limited language samples.

The late 20th century saw the return of ethnographically informed approaches to ideophone studies. Philip Noss produced an insightful series of studies on ideophones and verbal art in Gbaya, an Ubangi language of central Africa Noss ; ; Janis Nuckolls initiated a fruitful line of ethnographically grounded work on ideophones in a lowland Ecuadorean variety of Quechua, culminating in the books Sounds Like Life and Lessons from a Quechua Strongwoman in which she documented the linguistic and cultural ecology of ideophones. Language ideologies — metalinguistic attitudes and judgements about ideophones — are a recurring theme in anthropological work.

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Language ideologies exert an influence on speakers as well as on scholars. For speakers, they help explain when and why people use ideophones. Nuckolls shows how the use of ideophones by Quechua speakers is influenced by their ecological and aesthetic orientations. As we have seen, language ideologies have also deeply influenced the scholarly treatment of ideophones. A deeply rooted dismissive attitude towards iconic modes of communication is one of the prime reasons for the traditional marginalisation of the ideophone in Western linguistics. Indeed, some of the most insightful treatments of ideophones have come from scholars steeped in native or native-like knowledge of ideophonic languages.

Especially the last five decades of ideophone studies have seen great influence from the work of native speaker linguists. Ideophones appear to be quite unique in this respect: it is hard to find another linguistic phenomenon that has seen so much sustained scholarly input from linguists who are also native speakers.

The native speaker sensibilities of these scholars has enabled them to highlight key properties of ideophones, while their scholarly instincts helped them to see gaps and biases in traditional coverage. It has been argued that the most productive situation in language description and theory is when native and non-native speakers join forces Ameka This seems to be well exemplified in the field of ideophone studies. In the introduction to an incomparable illustrated dictionary of Japanese ideophones, illustrator Taro Gomi writes:.

Or perhaps I should say, they are unable to deal with them. And this is not surprising; onomatopoeic expressions are not the kind of subject matter that expert linguists can take up as a separate topic and study academically. After all, onomatopoeic expressions are not really language; they are, in a sense, raw language. If they handle them carelessly, they will run into problems.

This must be one of the most eloquent expressions of ideophone exceptionalism in print. Linguistics, with its roots in the study of written materials and a penchant for imagined sentences instead of everyday language use, is in some respects ill-equipped to deal with ideophones. However, as we have seen here, a redrawing of the margins has long been underway, though the uptake has at times been uneven and some territories remain contested or unclaimed.

The hybrid nature of ideophones as the most gesture-like of spoken words led to crucial innovations in phonology and morphological theory, and currently enables a productive convergence with research on gestural expressive resources Okrent Today, research on ideophones is well-placed to contribute to several current methodological and theoretical questions Table 5.

This review has presented a chronological narrative to bring out intellectual lineages and historical developments in the research history of ideophones. Throughout, we have seen patterns that recur in different times and places. Some of these cyclical phenomena are metalinguistic ideologies that keep reappearing with remarkable stubbornness. Others are empirical findings that were mined as rough diamonds by early scholars, cut and polished by the next generation, and worked into more complex pieces by later scholars.

Let me select some of the most salient patterns in the form of pointwise summaries at three levels of abstraction. At the first and most proximal level, there are three common misconceptions that recur through the history of ideophone studies. It is worth being aware of them, if only to unmask the questionable assumptions behind them. As often, it is easy to see where the misconceptions come from. Being used in playful contexts is one of the affordances of vivid sensory words, so their appearance here is entirely expected — but it is neither necessary nor sufficient to explain the genesis and maintenance of larger inventories of ideophones.

Onomatopoeia do occur in all known spoken languages, and they can be analysed as the subset of ideophones imitative of sound so the reverse is accurate: onomatopoeia are ideophones. Yet speech is more than just sound, and can be used depict other aspects of sensory scenes by means of diagrammatic iconicity.

Finally, intensification is an expected pragmatic implicature of any depiction of content also referred to by descriptive means, making ideophones a possible source domain for expressive intensifiers; but their formal diversity and semantic specificity strongly suggest that in most languages, they are more than just intensifiers.

At a higher level of abstraction, ideophone research has generated a number of novel insights about the integration of iconic lexical resources in language. Here are three of the most salient ones:. This should not surprise us. Natural languages are the result of aeons of cultural evolution in the hands and minds of language users, so it would be remarkable if the depictive affordances of verbal material had remained unused Perlman et al. What is typologically remarkable about ideophone languages is that in them, the depictive potential of speech has taken on a life of its own, in the form of a sizable lexical class of conventionalised depictions, with implications for the nature of phonological systems, the relation between form and meaning in language, and the functional load of major lexical categories.

Applying the lessons learned from ideophones to linguistic research more generally, the work reviewed here motivates a re-evaluation of traditional conceptions of language and linguistic structure. We can frame these as challenges, though it is useful to recall that every challenge represents an opportunity for innovation. Ideophone research has already begun to make headway on these challenges. It has shown how vocal depictions may be combined with gestures Kita and incorporated into utterances Kunene , demonstrating an interplay between morphosyntax and mode of representation Dingemanse Increasingly, insights from work on ideophones are used in experimental studies, for instance in the study of iconicity in word learning in children and adults Imai et al.

The most fundamental challenge may be to decouple language ideologies and linguistic practice. Ideophones offer one of the most vivid examples of how linguistic inquiry can vacillate between data-driven and ideology-driven approaches. Yet ideophone research also shows by example how diversity in scholarship can help offset eurocentric biases and correct subjective notions of marginality. A good deal of the work reviewed here can be understood as part of a larger project of putting the study of language in its proper context.

From this perspective, it is merely a historical accident that the study of language has focused for so long on isolated sentences and monologic texts, foregrounding a view of language as an arbitrary vehicle for the disembodied and decontextualised transmission of ideas. To the extent that ideophones motivate a redrawing of the margins of language, it is an operation that has long been overdue — one that will only result in a stronger and more comprehensive science of language. If engaging with ideophones means coming to terms with semiotic diversity in grammar, studying iconicity alongside arbitrariness, and overcoming scholarly biases, we will gain a better understanding not just of ideophones but of language as a whole.

This despite important prior work detailing the syntactic properties of ideophones Watkins ; Kulemeka Through their eloquence and metalinguistic awareness, they have made important contributions to the scholarly study of ideophones. Sound imitatives are in the minority in the dictionary. For inspiration, I thank Felix Ameka and Janis Nuckolls, two of the most original contemporary voices in ideophone studies. For intellectual and institutional support over the last decade, I am grateful to Steve Levinson and Nick Enfield.

Thanks also to Herb and Eve Clark, who hosted me during a stimulating research visit to Stanford much of the paper was revised Chez Clarks. This paper incorporates some material from an unpublished PhD dissertation by the author. Financial support has come from Veni grant Akita, Kimi. Kobe: Kobe University. Bibliography, Kobe University. Sound symbolism. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Ameka, Felix K. Real descriptions: Reflections on native speaker and non-native speaker descriptions of a language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Felix K.

David Odden

Catching Language: the standing challenge of grammar writing. Amha, Azeb. Ideophones and Compound Verbs in Wolaitta. Structuring sensory imagery: Ideophones across languages and cultures.


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Fortune, G. Frankis, John. Middle English ideophones and the evidence of manuscript variants: Explorations in the lunatic fringe of language. Osselto on the occasion of his retirement , 17— Amsterdam: Rodopi. Garvin, Paul L. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. She began her career as a Lecturer at the University of Ghana in She rose through the ranks and earned the status of Professor of Linguistics in During this period, she became the first female Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University. Altogether, she served the University of Ghana for 36 years, from to The last three years were her post-retirement service.

Professor Dolphyne held visiting scholar positions in other universities. She is a Fulbright Senior Scholar. In her active research years, Prof. Dolphyne produced key publications that influenced the discipline. Professor Dolphyne has made a huge impact not only in the field of academia but also in national development and Christianity in Ghana. She was the Chairperson of the Ghana Education Service She also served on the Council for National Reconciliation Commission In recognition of her sustained role in the development of higher education in Ghana, Prof.

Dolphyne was awarded an honorary doctorate D. Litt by the University of Ghana in Guest Editor, Prof. Gordon S. Vol 7, No 1 This issue is noteworthy as it marks our third for this year with our regular issue 6 1 having been published in July and our special issue 6 2 published earlier in December. In the current issue, 6 3 , we are proud to have four strong articles representing a diverse range of areas of linguistic interest.

The papers of this issue are a testament to the wide variety of theoretical approaches and diverse research areas pertaining to linguistics found in Africa. In this vein, GJL continues to serve as a hub of scholarship, providing an avenue for the publication of double-blind peer-reviewed studies on language, linguistics and all interrelated disciplines. We hope that our readers find this issue intellectually stimulating and informative as we continue to explore and gain a deeper understanding of linguistic phenomena from innovative perspectives.