1. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can't think of a word

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Chinspinner, Apr 3, 2015.

    I'm stuck on the mobile so researching on the net is a pain in the arse.

    What is the term for when a word sounds like it's meaning in kind of an onomatopoeic sense. i.e greetings tend to sound genial, words like "yes" sound soft, while "no" or "stop" sound harsh?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Beyond onomatopoeic? Is there another word?

    What's the context? Like, what's the sentence?
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I take it you mean other than simple onomatopoeia, yes?
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Are you sure there is a word? I see lots of discussions of the softness and harshness of words, but no specific name for the phenomena comes up.

    100 Beautiful and Ugly Words
     
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ideophone

    These examples are from Wikipedia.
    • pitter-patter; the sound of rain drops
    • twinkle; the sound of something sparkling or shiny
    • swish; the sound of swift movement
    • splish-splash; the sound of water splashing
    • ta-da; the sound of a fanfare
    • bling-bling; glitter, sparkle
    • yoink; the "sound" of stealing/snatching
    Some of these are still clearly based in simple onomatopoeia, like pitter-patter, but there is no actual sound associated with twinkle, though the sound of the word has a certain evocative quality of the visual phenomenon.
     
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  6. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe I imagined it, I am sure there is a term related specifically to the propensity for languages to develop words whose general sound mirror their meaning.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Using the bolded section as a search string I found this:
    The bridge of iconicity: from a world of experience to the experience of language
    Iconicity: 2) Symbolic, emblematic, or representative
     
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  8. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you find the word, come back and let us know!
     
  10. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    Not sure, but maybe phonetic-symbolism?
     

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