A Grammar of Iconism
Literary criticism often includes ad hoc comments about onomatopoeia, synaesthesia, or other forms of iconism. In A Grammar of Iconism, Earl Anderson discusses these phenomena systematically. According to Anderson, modern post-Saussurian linguistics has as its central tenet the arbitrariness of linguistic signs. Thus, linguistic elements that bear some relationship to their referent have been seen as marginal to the system of language, or at best similar in their arbitrariness to other linguistic signs. As an example of the latter, while most languages have an onomatopoeic element, different languages imitate sounds differently. Anderson argues against the standard view, provides a detailed critique of the negative arguments against iconism, and offers a positive typology that demonstrates the extensiveness and complexity of iconism in language.
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The Linguistic Characteristics of Iconism
Synaesthesia and Chromaesthesia
ablaut acoustic adjectives analysis appears arbitrary argues association back vowels Beowulf bird called chapter Chaucer's chromaesthesia chronological collocation color combines consonant clusters consonant lengthening consonantal context contrast cratyline Cratylus describes discourse doublets e. e. cummings example experience expressive French frequency fricatives front vowels grammatical Greek Green Knight guage high front vowels iconism iconizes the idea ideophones images imitation Jared Carter kinesthesia kinesthetic labials language Latin linguistic lower back vowels means metaphor modern morphological names nasals natural sounds night noun onomatopoeia onomatopoeic paraverbals patterns peripheral phonaesthemes phonaesthesia phonemes phonological phonosymbolism phonotactic phrase poem poet poet's poetic poetry polyptoton psycholinguistic reduplication referent repetition rhetorical rhyme rounded vowels semantic sense sentence sequence signs Sir Gawain Socrates song Sonnet sound symbolism speakers speech stanza structuralist structure syllables synaesthesia synaesthetic syntactic iconism syntax theme theory tion tive tmesis tongue trigrams unvoiced verb versus vocabulary Whitman words writes