LINGUIST List 31.1734

Fri May 22 2020

Books: Rhyme over Reason: Benczes

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Coburn <>

Date: 21-May-2020
From: Dan Iredale <>
Subject: Rhyme over Reason: Benczes
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Title: Rhyme over Reason
Subtitle: Phonological Motivation in English
Published: 2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Réka Benczes
Electronic: ISBN: 9781316998922 Pages: 276 Price: U.S. $ 88.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781108491877 Pages: 276 Price: U.S. $ 110.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781108491877 Pages: 276 Price: U.K. £ 85.00

We are fascinated by what words sound like. This fascination also drives us to search for meaning in sound - thereby contradicting the principle of the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign. Phonesthemes, onomatopoeia or rhyming compounds all share the property of carrying meaning by virtue of what they sound like, simply because language users establish an association between form and meaning. By drawing on a wide array of examples, ranging from conventionalized words and expressions to brand names and slogans, this book offers a comprehensive account of the role that sound symbolism and rhyme/alliteration plays in English, and by doing so, advocates a more relaxed view of the category 'morpheme' that is able to incorporate less regular word-formation processes.

1. Introduction
2. Phonological motivation in language evolution and development
3. Phonetic symbolism
4. Onomatopoeia
5. Rhyme and alliteration in blends and compounds
6. Words, words, words: rhyme and repetition in multi-word expressions
7. Conclusions: the piggy in the middle.

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

Page Updated: 22-May-2020