Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Leibniz-Gemeinschaft

Workshop on Ideophones and Lexical Iconicity (AG 15)

Organizer(s) Cwiek, Aleksandra & Kathryn Barnes (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)
Workshop 45. Jahrestagung der DGfS
Start of event 08.03.2023, 10.00 o'clock
End of event 10.03.2023, 18.00 o'clock
Venue Universität zu Köln

Workshop description

This workshop takes ideophones as a starting point to investigate lexicalized or conventionalized iconic forms in language from an interdisciplinary perspective. The amount of iconic forms within languages varies greatly with European languages having much fewer ideophones than languages such as Japanese. However, linguistic research into European languages has often focused on written language, with many iconic forms occurring predominantly in the spoken medium, meaning they may have remained obscured from our sight. Furthermore, a renewed focus on different communicative settings could reveal more about the role of iconicity in language. Ideophones, for example, are often used performatively, particularly in spoken narratives and in combination with other iconic phenomena. The perception of iconicity is also dependent on multiple factors such as language experience and social and cultural conventions, and as such, many iconic forms, including ideophones, are not crosslinguistically transparent. Nevertheless, a unified account of iconicity is desirable and in order to achieve this, all aspects of iconic phenomena, including their cognitive, social and cultural basis must be considered.

The key goals of this workshop are threefold: firstly, to raise awareness of and discuss the variety of lexicalized and conventionalized iconic forms in spoken language; secondly, to compare the role of lexicalized iconicity crosslinguistically and in different communication settings; and lastly, to facilitate an interdisciplinary exchange on lexicalized iconicity.

Potential research topics include the varying roles of different iconic forms crosslinguistically, the interaction of ideophones and other iconic phenomena, the use and effect of ideophones and iconicity in performances and the language specific nature of iconicity and perceptions of iconicity. We welcome abstracts not only on ideophones, but also on onomatopoeia, phonesthemes, expressive and iconic morphology as well as phonology, and other, similar iconic phenomena from a range of disciplines, such as formal linguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition and psychology.


Abstracts should be anonymous and at most 2 pages in length, 12pt, examples and references included. Please send your abstracts electronically in PDF-format to <barnes@lingua.uni-frankfurt.de>, and include your name, affiliation, and the title of the abstract in the body of the e-mail. The talks will be 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion.

Deadline for abstracts: August 20, 2022
Notification: September 10, 2022

Invited speaker

Maria Flaksman (LMU Munich, Anglistik und Amerikanistik)