Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Linguistic iconicity has been studied since ancient times (e.g., Plato’s , see Cooper & Hutchinson 1997). Within modern grammatical description, this notion was mostly developed by Jakobson and Benveniste; nowadays, iconicity in language is even being experimentally tested (e.g., Blasi et al. 2016Diatka & Milička 2017). However, most studies on linguistic iconicity pertain to prosody, sound symbolism, or morphology; syntactic iconicity has been vastly underexplored. In this paper, we present two hypotheses concerning : (1) syntactic descriptions of natural language strings have an inherent structure which is isomorphic to that of representations in some other component of grammar or a non-grammatical system; or (2) linear order imposed on phrase structure is isomorphic to that in some other component of grammar or a non-grammatical system. We will argue in favour of the former, which constitutes a novel perspective on iconicity in grammar. We furthermore discuss the place that iconicity may have in the architecture of a generative system.


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Keyword(s): iconicity; linguistic theory; syntax; transformational grammar
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