Sound Symbolism

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Sound Symbolism

 

a conditional interrelationship between the sound of a word and its emotional coloring. Sound symbolism is used in poetic speech; for example, the sound of l is “appropriate” for designating something soft, tender, and poetic (for example, K. Bal’mont’s use of sound symbolism with l:S lodki skol’znulo veslo, “The oar slipped from the boat”).

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This is the perfect phonosemantic interpretation for this word, and its perfection continues to delight me; to use Sapir's stirring phrases, it's an example of the high quality of the "mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations" that fashion language, "the most massive and inclusive art we know" (235).
That leaves only those 34 vigesimal rimes that I do not consider to have any significant phonosemantic coherence.
In fact, though I include summaries, with examples, for all 62 vigesimal rimes in which I have been able to find signs of significant phonosemantic coherence (see appendix A), I will concentrate in this paper on only a few of the most coherent.
In doing this, we generated the first version of the Lawler/Rhodes database of English simplex words, (2) parsed by assonance and rime, from which we continue to draw in our later studies; indeed, this kind of investigation has come to be known as assonance-rime analysis, to distinguish it from the more fine-grained phonosemantic theories advanced by Margaret Magnus (Dictionary, God's, "What's in a Word?
For those assonances that display phonosemantic coherence, (10) the coherence rate is on the order of 70%; that is, if a given assonance is associated with some meanings, around 70% of the English simplex words beginning with that assonance will show the meanings.
Since the origins of poetry, in fact--this kind of phonosemantic coherence is one of the important semiotic facts that make poetry possible in the first place.
Metaphor themes are frequently radial classes, and embodied images are also common in phonosemantic classes.