Cognitive Science . Linguistics

Research report 2013 - Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

How to paint with language

Authors

Dingemanse, Mark

Departments

Sprache und Kognition

Summary
Words evolve not as blobs of ink on paper but in face to face interaction. The nature of language as fundamentally interactive and multimodal is shown by the study of ideophones, vivid sensory words that thrive in conversations around the world. The ways in which these Lautbilder enable precise communication about sensory knowledge has for the first time been studied in detail. It turns out that we can paint with language, and that the onomatopoeia we sometimes classify as childish might be a subset of a much richer toolkit for depiction in speech, available to us all.

For the full text, see the German version.

 
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