Cognitive Semiotics Seminar: "The sensory semantics of ideophones: methodological, typological, and historical perspectives" (Bonnie McLean, Uppsala University)

22 februari 2024 15:00 till 17:00 Seminarium

In this relevant for both linguists and semioticians talk from Uppsala, Bonnie McLean - who visited us in December for a "real life" presentation as many will remember - will present some more recent work on ideophone. All are welcome to H402 from 3pm, or on the zoom link - with cameras on please!

With their unique semiotic properties, ideophones—marked depictive words that form an open lexical class in many of the world’s spoken languages (see Dingemanse, 2019)—offer perhaps the most direct pathway between our inward, private sensations and their outward projections in language. At the same time, the iconicity of ideophones in the modality of speech constrains their expressive potential in interesting ways that remain underexplored. This puts ideophones in a unique position when it comes to investigating the degree to which our experiences with the sensorium are universal, or shaped by distinct cultures and languages (Majid & Levinson, 2011). The highly multisensory nature of ideophone meanings also makes them particularly vital for investigating cross-modal associations and relations between the senses as expressed through language.

In this presentation, I discuss the links between iconicity, ideophones, and the senses; how iconicity both augments and constrains the expressibility of ideophones; and how iconicity influences semantic development and change in sensory lexicons. By relegating ideophones and iconic words to the margins of language, we risk sacrificing a complete understanding of language’s limits. Moreover, theories of cognition cannot be complete without accounting for the constraints that iconicity imposes on language. Ideophones are not only fun, but also essential to the linguistic and cognitive sciences.

Om händelsen:

22 februari 2024 15:00 till 17:00

IRL: room H402, online: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/61502831303


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