Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

E-mail this page

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: The Theory of Phonosemantic Space Add Dissertation
Author: Andrei Mikhalev Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Krasnodar State University, Doctoral Dissertation Council
Completed in: 1995
Linguistic Subfield(s): Psycholinguistics;
Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard

Abstract: The first part of this study is a critical survey of the foundations of Sound-Sense linguistics, or phonosemantics. The theory of phonosemantics is based on a synthesis of glottogenetic studies (onomatopoeic and sound symbolic theories of language origin), experimental data from psychology and physiology, and the results of psycholinguistic investigations of language acquisition and poetics, and it draws on the achievements of general semiotics. The main thesis emerging from this survey is the genetic motivation of sounds as the primary signifying substance of language.

Part II treats the problem of the minimal meaningful units in language. A central topic is a critical analysis of the concept 'root morpheme'.

The commonly accepted definition of the morpheme as the smallest meaningful unit can be restated in semiotic terms as a 'minimal sign', which implies an indispensable presence of a content not susceptible of division into smaller units of the same order. Both the semantic and the formal aspects of the traditional morpheme have been subjects of a great deal of discussion.

Part III of the book deals with the problem of the semiogenetic mechanism, whose point of departure is the sound-expressive (iconic) meaning, i.e. a meaning symbolized by an articulated sound.

Part IV of the book describes the category of 'phonosemantic space' and its systematic and structural properties.

Part V suggests a new approach to the philosophical problem of naming and meaning. The reflections presented here are inspired by the recently published works of the greatest Russian philosopher of the twentieth century A.F.Lossev 'The Philosophy of Names' and 'Thing and Name'.