Iconicity in <i>gotoochi-kitii </i>&#8216;localized &#8232;Hello Kitty&#8217;

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This paper explores the form-meaning-referent relationship of a compound noun, <i>gotoochi-kitii</i> &#8216;localized Hello Kitty&#8217;, which denotes a small souvenir figurine featuring a Japanese commercial character, Hello Kitty. It argues that the diagrammatic iconicity observed in English noun-noun compounds (e.g. Ungerer 1999) is also at work in this recently coined Japanese compound. Further, iconicity plays an important part in the process of image construction. An iconic image of a local entity metonymically selected into the domain of <i>gotoochi</i> &#8216;local area&#8217; (source) is mapped onto an image selected into the domain of Hello Kitty (target) based on kitty-is-an-agent (or &#8209;undergoer) metaphor. Deviation from the basic one-to-one mapping pattern leads to a creation of more complex images. Blending theory allows us to detail the mechanisms of this type of image construction.


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