Sounding out ideas on language, vivid sensory words, and iconicity

Coming up: LDLT2 in London

LDLT2, the 2nd conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory, will be held in London this weekend. I’m looking forward to plenaries by Larry Hyman and Tania Kuteva, and to many other interesting talks.

The very last slot on Saturday (17:00-17:30) is reserved for a paper titled ‘Ideophones in unexpected places’ by yours truly. I am still considering my options for keeping the audience awake, but meanwhile, you can download a short version of the paper or have a peek at the accompanying multimedia (audio samples of two dirges).

In a nutshell, the argument I’m going to make is that ideophones occur across a wide range of discourse genres, some of them well beyond narrative contexts of use. Taking two ‘unexpected’ genres, funeral dirges and greetings, I show that the use of ideophones in each of them is distinctive while at the same time building on core interactional functions of ideophones in everyday conversational discourse.

  1. Dingemanse, Mark. 2009. ‘Ideophones in unexpected places’. Paper for LDLT2, SOAS, London, November.

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