University of Cambridge > > Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group > Sound devices in English word-formation: alliteration, rhyme, and sound symbolism

Sound devices in English word-formation: alliteration, rhyme, and sound symbolism

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Alliteration, rhyme, and sound symbolism (i.e., the systematic connection between meaning and sound, also known as iconicity) have been widely studied as literary devices heightening the auditory and evocative power of language. However, their underlying role in the coinage of words per se has been much more neglected in linguistic studies. In this presentation, I will overview in what ways these devices – which bring the phonological make-up of the linguistic sign to the fore – operate in lexis (either single or multiple lexical units) by discussing instantiations of how alliteration is still noticeable in, for instance, onomastics, and how rhyme and sound symbolism are particularly productive in certain spheres of language such as colloquial registers and slang.

Amanda Roig-Marín is currently doing an MPhil in Linguistics at the University of Cambridge. Her main research interests include historical linguistics, language contact, and lexicology.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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