Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:

login

Log in through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Journal Article

The Case for Sound Symbolism

Janis B. Nuckolls
Annual Review of Anthropology
Vol. 28 (1999), pp. 225-252
Published by: Annual Reviews
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/223394
Page Count: 28
Were these topics helpful?
See somethings inaccurate? Let us know!

Select the topics that are inaccurate.

Cancel
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($36.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Case for Sound Symbolism
Preview not available

Abstract

The proposal that linguistic sounds such as phonemes, features, syllables, or tones can be meaningful, or sound-symbolic, contradicts the principles of arbitrariness and double articulation that are axiomatic to structural linguistics. Nevertheless, a considerable body of research that supports principles of sound symbolism has accumulated. This review discusses the most widely attested forms of sound symbolism and the research programs linked to sound symbolism that have influenced linguists and anthropologists most. Numerous reports of magnitude sound symbolism in the form of experimental studies and comparative surveys have been integrated into a biologically based theory of its motivation. Magnitude sound symbolism also catalyzed a number of experimental studies by psychologists and linguists in search of a universal sound-symbolic substrate underlying all languages. Although the search for a sound-symbolic substrate has been abandoned, the success rates of these studies have never been satisfactorily explained. Sound-symbolic processes have had a definitive impact on morphological analyses of phonesthemes and on historical linguists' understandings of diachronic processes. A typologically widespread form of sound symbolism occurs as a kind of lexical class known as the ideophone, which is conspicuously underdeveloped in standard average European languages, and highly perplexing for linguists and anthropologists. Although it has always been a respectable domain of inquiry in ethnopoetics and interpretive ethnography, the case for sound symbolism has of late been argued with renewed vigor on the part of psychological anthropologists and philosophers who see a paradigm shift under way.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
225
    225
  • Thumbnail: Page 
226
    226
  • Thumbnail: Page 
227
    227
  • Thumbnail: Page 
228
    228
  • Thumbnail: Page 
229
    229
  • Thumbnail: Page 
230
    230
  • Thumbnail: Page 
231
    231
  • Thumbnail: Page 
232
    232
  • Thumbnail: Page 
233
    233
  • Thumbnail: Page 
234
    234
  • Thumbnail: Page 
235
    235
  • Thumbnail: Page 
236
    236
  • Thumbnail: Page 
237
    237
  • Thumbnail: Page 
238
    238
  • Thumbnail: Page 
239
    239
  • Thumbnail: Page 
240
    240
  • Thumbnail: Page 
241
    241
  • Thumbnail: Page 
242
    242
  • Thumbnail: Page 
243
    243
  • Thumbnail: Page 
244
    244
  • Thumbnail: Page 
245
    245
  • Thumbnail: Page 
246
    246
  • Thumbnail: Page 
247
    247
  • Thumbnail: Page 
248
    248
  • Thumbnail: Page 
249
    249
  • Thumbnail: Page 
250
    250
  • Thumbnail: Page 
251
    251
  • Thumbnail: Page 
252
    252