Chapter published in:Operationalizing Iconicity
Edited by Pamela Perniss, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg
[Iconicity in Language and Literature 17] 2020
► pp. 106–121
System-internal and system-external phonic expressivity
Iconicity and Balkan affricates
The expressive function of language as realized phonically is explored here through an examination of the major role that affricates play in various Balkan languages, but especially Greek and Albanian, in marking words as showing emotion, affect, color, and similar sorts of expressive dimensions. Moreover, it is argued that language contact is an important causal factor here, in part through the enhancement of already existing tendencies in the languages in question and in part through the recognition that system-external elements can have an “exotic” character and thus can be especially suitable for participating in phonic expressivity.
Published online: 13 May 2020
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