Suggestive nonsense (was: K-Rad)
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, June 20, 2001, 11:22|
> child: "mullo schnuppel bille bongo mamma pipi" .
> father answers: "grabosch ! borbatz watsch kronk, ghurbratz fratzen pauke !"
Ah yes, Katzenjammerdeutsch. We have that in English too.
> do words always have to have a meaning ?
I think these words do have meaning, even if we can't see exactly what it is.
English, at least, has a long tradition of semi-meaningful nonsense:
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Now it is the most elementary observation of anglophone linguistics
(literally; it is an example used in elementary courses) that
this is parseable, and that the proper morphological assignments are:
It was Adjective, and the Adjective Noun-SING
Did Verb-INF and Verb-INF in the Noun-SING;
All Adjective were the Noun-PL,
And the Adjective Noun-PL Verb-Past.
But the content words themselves, though not one of them is English,
(with the marginal exception of "gyre" = "rotate"), have distinctly English
resonances: they bring to mind similar morphs which are English, as in "slithy"
which was consciously devised as a blend of "sly" and "lithe".
> or do they have also a sound, which got an own kind of "message" ?
Except for onomatopoeia, I think that it is not so much sound as such,
but suggestive sound, that gives such words what meaning they have.
John Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
One art/there is/no less/no more/All things/to do/with sparks/galore