Article published in:Ideophones: Between Grammar and Poetry
Edited by Katherine Lahti, Rusty Barrett and Anthony K. Webster
[Pragmatics and Society 5:3] 2014
► pp. 445–454
Ideophones, rhemes, interpretants
This commentary considers the depictive quality of ideophones within the context of a general semiotic. I seek to expand the limited uptake of iconicity in linguistic theory from a resemblance between sign and object along Peirce’s second trichotomy (icon, index, symbol) to discuss iconicity from the often overlooked perspective of Peirce’s third trichotomy (rheme, dicent, argument). I examine ideophones as semiotic rhemes that affect iconic interpretants and suggest this shift in understanding iconicity unites lexical iconicity with depictive processes in interaction more generally, and beyond this with other rhematic linguistic signs. These parallels are illustrated by two examples of the expressive use of pitch, and throughout the discussion by reference to how the work of the authors of the present Special Issue help free a theory of iconicity from the bonds of it being considered a fixed, lexical relationship, to rather theorize iconicity as a poetic achievement designed for an interpreter’s active reception.
Keywords: poetics, sound symbolism, iconicity, Peirce, semiotics, depiction, ideophones
Published online: 14 November 2014
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