How can I connect between the phonetic and the words meaning?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-07 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

It’s a pillar of semiotics that you can’t: Ferdinand de Saussure’s renowned Arbitrariness of the Sign (Arbitraire du Signe).

Sound symbolism is an exception to the Arbitrariness of the Sign, and it’s an exception that Saussure was aware of, and addressed (see… quoting his Course): it’s a marginal exception, and as signs become conventional in a language, they become more and more arbitrary. (Pipe used to sound like peep, and be a sound that birds make. That sound connection is now broken.)

So some words’ sounds, like onomatopoeias, have an overt iconic connection to word meaning, and some clusters of word sounds have greater than average correlation with particular attributes (the vowels in words for big and small, for example, or Phonesthemes). But the correlation is language-specific, mutable, and not very reliable.

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