Chapter published in:Operationalizing Iconicity
Edited by Pamela Perniss, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg
[Iconicity in Language and Literature 17] 2020
► pp. 22–38
The relationship between iconicity and systematicity in Korean ideophones
This chapter investigates the relationship between two forms of non-arbitrariness in Korean ideophones: relative iconicity, which is a resemblance-based mapping between relations among multiple forms and relations among multiple meanings (exemplified by paradigmatic consonantal symbolism), and systematicity, which is a statistical regularities-based mapping between form and meaning (exemplified by ideophonic vowel harmony). Using a written corpus of Korean ideophones, the present study quantifies the number of variants in consonantal constellations, where larger constellations are judged to have a higher degree of relative iconicity than smaller constellations. The results reveal that larger constellations are more susceptible to the influence exerted by vowel harmony. This language-internal finding suggests a tight correlation between relative iconicity and systematicity, and allows further investigation into its generalizability from a broad typological perspective.
Published online: 13 May 2020
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