Chapter published in:Operationalizing Iconicity
Edited by Pamela Perniss, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg
[Iconicity in Language and Literature 17] 2020
► pp. 4–19
Modality-specificity of iconicity
The case of motion ideophones in Japanese
This study examines the semantic variety and specificity of Japanese ideophones for spatial motion events to illustrate the modality-specificity of iconicity. As verbal icons, motion ideophones tend to depict dynamic (e.g., auditory, spatio-temporal) aspects of motion events. Suprasegmental features that elaborate ideophonic depiction also exhibit this tendency. In contrast, manual icons, such as iconic gestures and sign language, are more expressive of visual information, both dynamic and static. Motion events, which involve various concepts, allow us to observe this semiotic contrast clearly and reinforce the modality-specific view of iconicity.
Published online: 13 May 2020
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Cited by other publications
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