Volume 45, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Ideophones and direct quotations are “depictive” signs, or vivid re-enactments of what they signify. Pursuing the typology of linguistic depiction, the current study proposes a three-way classification of depiction marking strategies: framing, foregrounding, and backgrounding. While well-known formal characteristics of ideophones, such as prosodic prominence and quotative constructions, illustrate framing and foregrounding, this paper discusses low-pitched quotative indexes in Japanese as backgrounding-type depiction markers. These quotatives immediately follow ideophones and exclamatory quotations and set them off. They also underlie the exceptional pitch pattern of heavy syllables in ideophones.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Akinaga, Kazue
    2001Shinmeikai nihongo akusento jiten [A Shinmeikai dictionary of Japanese accent]. Tokyo: Sanseido.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Akita, Kimi
    2015 Ideophones and reported discourse as depictive signs. Gengo Bunka Kyōdō Kenkyū Purojekuto 2014: Shizen Gengo e no Rironteki Apurōchi [Osaka University Joint Project on Language & Culture 2014: Theoretical Approaches to Natural Language]. 1–10.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. 2020 Modality-specificity of iconicity: The case of motion ideophones in Japanese. InPamela Perniss, Olga Fischer & Christina Ljungberg (eds.), Operationalizing iconicity, 3–20. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ill.17.01aki
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ill.17.01aki [Google Scholar]
  4. Akita, Kimi & Prashant Pardeshi
    (eds.) 2019Ideophones, mimetics and expressives. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ill.16
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ill.16 [Google Scholar]
  5. Akita, Kimi & Takeshi Usuki
    2016 A constructional account of the “optional” quotative marking on Japanese mimetics. Journal of Linguistics52(2). 245–275. 10.1017/S0022226715000171
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226715000171 [Google Scholar]
  6. Alderete, John & Alexei Kochetov
    2017 Integrating sound symbolism with core grammar: The case of expressive palatalization. Language93(4). 731–766. 10.1353/lan.2017.0056
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2017.0056 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bodomo, Adams B.
    2006 The structure of ideophones in African and Asian languages: The case of Dagaare and Cantonese. InJohn Mugane, John P. Hutchison & Dee A. Worman (eds.), Selected proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African languages and linguistics in broad perspectives, 203–213. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Clark, Herbert H.
    2006 Depicting as a method of communication. Psychological Review123(3). 324–347. 10.1037/rev0000026
    https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000026 [Google Scholar]
  9. 2019 Depicting in communication. InPeter Hagoort (ed.), Human language: From genes and brains to behavior, 235–247. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Clark, Herbert H. & Richard J. Gerrig
    1990 Quotations as demonstrations. Language66(4). 764–805. 10.2307/414729
    https://doi.org/10.2307/414729 [Google Scholar]
  11. Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)
    Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). https://www.english-corpora.org/coca/ (last access11 August 2020).
  12. Diffloth, Gérard
    1972 Notes on expressive meaning. Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS) 8. 440–447.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Dingemanse, Mark
    2011 The meaning and use of ideophones in Siwu. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics & Radboud UniversityPhD dissertation.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. 2015 Ideophones and reduplication: Depiction, description, and the interpretation of repeated talk in discourse. Studies in Language39(4). 946–970. 10.1075/sl.39.4.05din
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.39.4.05din [Google Scholar]
  15. 2017 Expressiveness and system integration: On the typology of ideophones, with special reference to Siwu. STUF – Language Typology and Universals70(2). 119–141. 10.1515/stuf‑2017‑0018
    https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2017-0018 [Google Scholar]
  16. Dingemanse, Mark & Kimi Akita
    2017 An inverse relation between expressiveness and grammatical integration: On the morphosyntactic typology of ideophones, with special reference to Japanese. Journal of Linguistics53(3). 501–532. 10.1017/S002222671600030X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S002222671600030X [Google Scholar]
  17. Dingemanse, Mark, Damián E. Blasi, Gary Lupyan, Morton H. Christiansen & Padraic Monaghan
    2015 Arbitrariness, iconicity, and systematicity in language. Trends in Cognitive Sciences19(10). 603–615. 10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.013
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.013 [Google Scholar]
  18. Ferrara, Lindsay & Gabrielle Hodge
    2018 Language as description, indication, and depiction. Frontiers in Psychology9. 716. 1–15. 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00716
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00716 [Google Scholar]
  19. Franco, Ludovico
    2017 L-syntax and phono-symbolism: On the status of ideophones in complex predicates. Canadian Journal of Linguistics62(2). 243–279. 10.1017/cnj.2017.7
    https://doi.org/10.1017/cnj.2017.7 [Google Scholar]
  20. Güldemann, Tom
    2008Quotative indexes in African languages: A synchronic and diachronic survey. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110211450
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110211450 [Google Scholar]
  21. Güldemann, Tom
    2016 Maximal backgrounding = focus without (necessary) focus encoding. Studies in Language40(3). 551–590. 10.1075/sl.40.3.03gul
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.40.3.03gul [Google Scholar]
  22. Haiman, John
    2018Ideophones and the evolution of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781107706897
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781107706897 [Google Scholar]
  23. Hamano, Shoko Saito
    1986 The sound-symbolic system of Japanese. Gainesville, FL: University of FloridaPhD dissertation.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Hamano, Shoko
    1998The sound-symbolic system of Japanese. Stanford, CA: CSLI.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Hinton, Leanne, Johanna Nichols & John J. Ohala
    (eds.) 1994Sound symbolism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Hirose, Yukio
    1995 Direct and indirect speech as quotations of public and private expression. Lingua95. 223–238. 10.1016/0024‑3841(94)00006‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-3841(94)00006-8 [Google Scholar]
  27. Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide
    2017 Basque ideophones from a typological perspective. Canadian Journal of Linguistics62(2). 196–220. 10.1017/cnj.2017.8
    https://doi.org/10.1017/cnj.2017.8 [Google Scholar]
  28. Iwasaki, Shoichi
    2014 Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese: Observations and explorations. InKaori Kabata & Tsuyoshi Ono (eds.), Usage-based approaches to Japanese grammar: Towards the understanding of human language, 55–83. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/slcs.156.07iwa
    https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.156.07iwa [Google Scholar]
  29. Kadooka, Ken-Ichi
    2007Nihongo onomatope goi ni okeru keitaiteki/on’inteki taikeisei ni tsuite [On the morphological and phonological systematicity of Japanese ideophonic lexemes]. Tokyo: Kurosio Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Kageyama, Taro
    2007 Explorations in the conceptual semantics of mimetic verbs. InBjarke Frellesvig, Masayoshi Shibatani & John Smith (eds.), Current issues in the history and structure of Japanese, 27–82. Tokyo: Kurosio.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Kakehi, Hisao, Ikuhiro Tamori & Lawrence Schourup
    1996Dictionary of iconic expressions in Japanese. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110809046
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110809046 [Google Scholar]
  32. Kita, Sotaro
    1997 Two-dimensional semantic analysis of Japanese mimetics. Linguistics35(2). 379–415. 10.1515/ling.1997.35.2.379
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.1997.35.2.379 [Google Scholar]
  33. 2001 Semantic schism and interpretive integration in Japanese sentences with a mimetic: A reply to Tsujimura. Linguistics39(2). 419–436. 10.1515/ling.2001.017
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2001.017 [Google Scholar]
  34. Klewitz, Gabriele & Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen
    1999 Quote – unquote?: The role of prosody in the contextualization of reported speech sequences. Pragmatics9(4). 459–485. 10.1075/prag.9.4.03kle
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.9.4.03kle [Google Scholar]
  35. Kubozono, Haruo
    1999 Mora and syllable. InNatsuko Tsujimura (ed.), The handbook of Japanese linguistics, 31–61. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. 2019 The phonological structure of Japanese mimetics and motherese. InKimi Akita & Prashant Pardeshi (eds.), Ideophones, mimetics and expressives, 35–56. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ill.16.03kub
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ill.16.03kub [Google Scholar]
  37. Kuznetsova, Alexandra, Per B. Brockhoff & Rune H. B. Christensen
    2017 lmerTest package: Tests in linear mixed effects models. Journal of Statistical Software82(13). 1–26. 10.18637/jss.v082.i13
    https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v082.i13 [Google Scholar]
  38. Nasu, Akio
    2002 Nihongo onomatope no gokeisei to inritsu kōzō [Word formation and prosodic structure of Japanese ideophones]. Ibaraki: University of TsukubaPhD dissertation.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Nuckolls, Janis B.
    1996Sounds like life: Sound-symbolic grammar, performance, and cognition in Pastaza Quechua. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Ohala, John J.
    1994 The frequency code underlies the sound-symbolic use of voice pitch. InLeanne Hinton, Johanna Nichols & John J. Ohala (eds.), Sound symbolism, 325–347. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Peirce, Charles Sanders
    1932Collected papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, Vol.2. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. R Core Team
    R Core Team 2018 R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Sadanobu, Toshiyuki
    2015 Four types of linguistic resources for variable speaking units in common Japanese. Journal of the Phonetic Society of Japan19(2). 109–114.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Sasamoto, Ryoko
    2019Onomatopoeia and relevance: Communication of impressions via sound. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1007/978‑3‑030‑26318‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26318-8 [Google Scholar]
  45. Sells, Peter
    2017 The significance of the grammatical study of Japanese mimetics. InNoriko Iwasaki, Peter Sells & Kimi Akita (eds.), The grammar of Japanese mimetics: Perspectives from structure, acquisition, and translation, 7–19. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Tanaka, Shin’ichi & Haruo Kubozono
    1999Nihongo no hatsuon kyōshitsu: Riron to renshū [Introduction to Japanese pronunciation: Theory and practice]. Tokyo: Kurosio.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Thompson, Arthur Lewis & Youngah Do
    2019 Defining iconicity: An articulation-based methodology for explaining the phonological structure of ideophones. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics4(1). 72. 1–40. 10.5334/gjgl.872
    https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.872 [Google Scholar]
  48. Toratani, Kiyoko
    2018 Particle drop of mimetics in Japanese: A Discourse Grammar approach. Cognitive Linguistic Studies5(1). 39–60. 10.1075/cogls.00012.tor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cogls.00012.tor [Google Scholar]
  49. Usuki, Takeshi & Kimi Akita
    2015 What’s in a mimetic?: On the dynamicity of its iconic stem. InMasako K. Hiraga, William J. Herlofsky, Kazuko Shinohara & Kimi Akita (eds.), Iconicity: East meets West, 109–123. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Voeltz, Friedrich K. Erhard & Christa Kilian-Hatz
    (eds.) 2001Ideophones. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.44
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.44 [Google Scholar]
  51. Westermann, Diedrich
    1927 Laut, Ton und Sinn in westafrikanischen Sudansprachen. InFranz Boas (ed.), Festschrift Meinhof, 315–328. Hamburg: L. Friederichsen.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): depiction; ideophones; Japanese; prosody; quotations
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error