Friday, September 21, 2007


Anatoly Liberman would appreciate this quote, although he might be able to express it in an even wittier way:

The standard line on onomatopoeia is that it is illusory. After all, dogs go bow-wow in English but gnaf-gnaf in French, and roosters go cockadoodledoo in English but kikiriki in German. Still, there is some degree of sound symbolism here. I doubt there’s a language where dogs go kikiriki and roosters go thud.

- Ray Jackendoff, Foundations of Language, 251n10

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