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

New issue of SemiotiX

Just out: a new issue of SemiotiX, the e-journal on all things semiotic edited by prof. Paul Bouissac. Among other things, it features a guest column by yours truly.

Ever felt sceptical about the supposed iconicity of ideophones like Siwu kananaa ‘silent’ or Japanese iya iya ‘with a heavy heart’? Isn’t it similar to the cute, but mistaken story that all Chinese characters are like little pictograms? And what have these two things got to do with the paintings of Van Gogh, Duchamp, and Mondriaan? Read all about it.

Van Gogh, Almond Blossoms; Duchamp, Nu descendant un escalier; Mondriaan, Victory Boogie Woogie
  1. Dingemanse, Mark. 2012. “Coerced Iconicity in Writing and Speech.” SemiotiX XN-8 (September).

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