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Re: Morphems

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Monday, June 25, 2001, 12:22
claudio scripsit:

> the helazoids ( my con-society ) > improvise funwords without common meaning, intended to express feelings, > words which "sound" like the actual mood of the speaker e.g. funny, angry, > pleasent, etc. no matter if they imitate a sound or not. > so this is not the same as pure onomatopoeia's. > and it isnt nonsense, it got its sense. it just got no common meaning. > how would you call something like this ?
"Ideophones". Tamil, among natural languages, is especially rich in these, to the point of having a special dictionary containing nothing but. They are also very common in African languages. Here's an excerpt from an old post of mine, which somehow got mixed up in the Lojban archives:
>Modern Standard Tamil has a vast variety of these words, >and uses the frame "saying X" to introduce them:
>1) kaacu n.ang eNRu vizuntatu > coin *clang* saying down fell > The coin fell down with a clang.
>is a fairly literal usage (note the SOV order). The word >"n.ang" is interesting for being phonologically bizarre: >Tamil words do not ordinarily begin with a retroflex nasal, >nor end with a velar nasal. A less literal use is exhibited by:
>2) avaN maNacu kuRukuRu eNRu mayankiNatu > mind his *throbbing-pulsing* saying was-confused > His mind was confused by guilt.
>where the term "kuRukuRu", literally denoting a throbbing- >pulse sound, is transferred to mean "guilt". There is a large >dictionary of Tamil containing only ideophones.
-- John Cowan One art/there is/no less/no more/All things/to do/with sparks/galore --Douglas Hofstadter


claudio <claudio.soboll@...>