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Book Information


Title: Sound Symbolism and Motion in Basque
Written By: Iraide Ibarretxe Antuñano
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Basque Linguistics 06

Sound symbolism studies the motivated relationship between sound and
meaning. Although in traditional linguistic theory (Saussure 1916), this
relation is assumed to be arbitrary, several studies in this field (Abelin
1999, Hamano 1998, Hinton et al. 1994, Nuckols 1996, Voeltz and Kilian-Hatz
2001a) have shown that there is a non-arbitrary element in the way some
meanings are linked to some sounds, as well as some sounds are linked to
some meanings. Furthermore, this relation seems to a universal phenomenon;
that is, all languages have sound symbolic words in their lexicons; the
difference is that some languages are more prone to sound symbolic
formations than others.

Basque, a genetically isolated language spoken on both sides of the western
Pyrenees, is one of those languages with an important and rich sound
symbolic system that covers a wide range of semantic fields such as small
creatures, types of activity, weather phenomena, noise-making instruments,
physical characteristics, and sexual terms. Despite its crucial role in the
language, the study of Basque sound symbolism has been largely neglected in
Basque linguistics. There are a few 'onomatopoeic lists' in some manuals,
but no studies that systematically analyse the formal and functional
properties of these elements.

This book bridges this gap by offering a detailed analysis of one semantic
area of Basque sound symbolism: movement imitatives, i.e. those sound
symbolic expressions that are used for the description of motion. This
study is organised as follows: First, it starts with a discussion about the
status of sound symbolism in linguistic studies (chapter 1), followed by a
brief overview of their main formal characteristics (chapter 2). Second, it
offers a description of the structure (chapter 3), morpho-syntax (chapter
4) and semantics (chapter 5) of movement imitatives in Basque. Third, it
draws some conclusions and points out several research areas that deserve a
more thorough analysis in future studies (chapter 6). Finally, it includes
an appendix with the corpus of more than 800 movement imitatives used in
this work, together with their English translations, and their structural
and semantic information.

Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano (PhD Edinburgh, 1999). She is currently a
lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. She was a
research fellow at UC Berkeley (1999-2001), the International Computer
Science Institute (2000-2001), and the University of Deusto, Spain
(2001-2003). She is especially interested in issues related to
cross-linguistic polysemy, constructions, semantic change, semantic
typology, sound symbolism, metaphor and metonymy, perception, space and
motion. She has published articles on these issues in a wide variety of
journals (LACUS Forum 1999, Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 2003-1,
Cognitive Linguistics 2004-15, Revista de Lingüística Española 2005,
Belgian Journal of Linguistics 2004) and edited books (Metaphor in
Cognitive Linguistics, 1999; Relating Events in Narrative, LEA, 2004;
Cognitive Linguistics Investigations across Languages, Fields, and
Philosophical Boundaries, 2005).

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
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Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): Basque
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 389586318
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 90
Prices: Europe EURO 44.00
U.S. $ 52.80