Edited by Timothy Colleman, Frank Brisard, Astrid De Wit, Renata Enghels, Nikos Koutsoukos, Tanja Mortelmans and María Sol Sansiñena
[Belgian Journal of Linguistics 34] 2020
► pp. 174–185
Japanese mimetics, and its psychomimes (e.g. gakkuri ‘disappointed’), in particular, are usually accompanied in speech with bodily movements, including gestures and postures. I have already argued that certain patterns in co-speech gestures and postures that accompanied psychomimes showed a relatively high rate of concord across speakers (Kanetani 2019). Taking the co-speech bodily movements as metonymic representations of embodied metaphors of emotion, this paper suggests that these kinetic features may be stored as part of the speaker’s knowledge of the words and argue that Japanese psychomimes are multimodal lexical constructions. I also show how such multimodal constructions are represented in the mind and how they are expressed in actual use. In particular, I describe and examine two-dimensional form-meaning pairings (based on Kita 1997) and show that one of the two dimensions may be selectively expressed in a given context.