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Open Access Zeitschrift für Wortbildung / Journal of Word Formation

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A phonestheme can be situated somewhere between a morpheme and a sound symbolic unit as well as between single-language and widespread appearance. Very often, phonesthemes are defined statistically. Consonant clusters like gl- appear in many words with certain aspects of meaning like glint, glimmer, glitter. These cases seem to be restricted to individual languages or language families and resemble morphemes. A natural or iconic relationship between form and meaning is not obvious. Several authors, however, include sound symbolic phenomena with implicit natural features such as i for small things. This is a very widespread phenomenon and an example for some natural link between form and meaning. The article pleads for a two-fold definition and two types of phonesthemes. Further discussion takes into account the idea of an interrelation between increasing iconicity and higher diffusion as exemplified by the phonesthemes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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  • Zeitschrift für Wortbildung / Journal of Word Formation (ZWJW) ist eine internationale Open-Access-Zeitschrift mit einem Double-blind-Begutachtungsverfahren, die bei Peter Lang erscheint. Das Spektrum der Zeitschrift umfasst Wortbildungsphänomene in allen Sprachen und in allen linguistischen Bereichen, z.B. Morphologie, Syntax, Lexikologie, Phonologie, Semantik, Pragmatik, Sprachgeschichte, Typologie, Dialektologie, Spracherwerb und Sprachkontakt.
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