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The lexical iconicity hierarchy and its grammatical correlates

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Abstract

This paper proposes an integrated account of the formal and functional non-uniformity exhibited by sound-symbolic words based on a hierarchy of lexical iconicity (i.e., iconicity of words). It is argued that the more iconic a vocalized sign is, the less strongly it is constrained by the linguistic system. This crosslinguistic generalization is instantiated by the lexical availability, morphophonology, syntax, semantics, and acquisition of sound-symbolic words.

References

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