USAGE: onomatopoeia and spelling alternates
|From:||Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, April 19, 2007, 15:36|
As a lifelong reader of material which includes "sound effects", I've
noticed some interesting tendencies. This is only peripherally
linguistic - paralinguistic, I guess - and totally
non-conlang-relevant. But I wonder if it mightn't provide some sort
of insight into the mental connections between sound and writing?
First, /k/ is almost always spelled <k>, even though <c> is more
common in regular English words. Even where the normal word for the
sound is already onomatopoetic, it can get respelled this way, e.g.
Second, /Vmf/ is universally -umph rather than -umf.
"Helen paused. With an audible `wumph,' Muffy's familiar yipping had
ended..." (from a Far Side cartoon).
"He left it dead / And with its head / He went gallumphing back."
Are modern textual foley artists emulating Carroll, or was Carroll
just an early example of the same tendency?
I don't know what role the vowel plays in this phenomenon, but
Nightcrawler's BAMF! is a good example of /mf/ not preceded by /V/.
I imagine the use of PH may come from parallelism with the common
sequence -ump. /umf/ is usually <oomph>, too. But without the -m-,
<f> reappears: <whuff>, <oof>, etc.
Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>