Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Leibniz-Gemeinschaft

Aleksandra Ćwiek successfully defended her thesis


Congratulations to Aleksandra Ćwiek, who successfully defended her dissertation today at Humboldt University. The work, entitled "Iconicity in Language and Speech", was carried out in the project PSIMS: The Pragmatic Status of Iconic Meaning in Spoken Communication: Gestures, Ideophones, Prosodic Modulations within the DFG Priority Program XPrag.de: New Pragmatic Theories based on Experimental Evidence (SPP 1727) at ZAS.

In her thesis, Ćwiek investigates various manifestations of iconicity in language, i.e., the resemblance between form and meaning. These include sound symbolism, iconic prosody, and iconic words called ideophones. Ćwiek conducts experimental research on iconicity at these three levels and offers an in-depth analysis of the role of iconicity. She concludes that the phenomenon has been crucial not only at the dawn of language but also nowadays. According to Ćwiek, iconicity uses the potential of different modalities and constitutes the core of human communication.