Iconicity vs. Arbitrariness of Sound Symbolism Phenomenon through a Contrastive Analysis Framework

Abstract

This paper reports on the comparison and contrast drawn between sound symbols of Persian, English, and Spanish In order to embody the form-meaning relationship from a universal point of view. 140 sound symbols chosen from Persian onomatopoeic dictionary (1996) and their English and Spanish counterparts were first categorized according to Hinton et al.’s (1994) typology. Using Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis the phonemes were described and contrasted in three languages afterwards. Prediction was made consequently. Together the findings suggest that no absolute arbitrariness or iconicity could be considered for sound symbols. As a matter of fact there are different sound symbols categories and each is of a special degree of iconicity/arbitrariness. It is inferred that a continuum can best demonstrate the order and degree of iconicity for sound symbols.

Keywords: Contrastive Analysis, English, Persian, Sound Symbols, Spanish


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 17-30 (Download PDF)

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