sound symbolism

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Related to Phonosemantics: Sound symbol

sound′ sym`bolism

a nonarbitrary connection between phonetic features of linguistic items and their meanings.
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Evidence for Phonosemantics. Trondheim, Norway: Trondheim University doctoral dissertation.
In 'n boek Gods of the word--archetypes in the consonants (Magnus, 1999) word gegewens aangaande die verband tussen klank en betekenis ondersoek as manifestasies van die marginale studieterrein van sound symbolism of phonosemantics. Dit gaan nie oor klanknabootsende verhoudings tussen klanke en betekenis as sodanig nie, maar daaroor dat bepaalde klanke opvallend frekwent voorkom in woorde wat semanties verwant is.
"Women, Men, and Bristly Things: The Phonosemantics of the BR--Assonance in English." Michigan Working Papers in Linguistics 1.1 (1990): 27-43.
In doing this, we generated the first version of the Lawler/Rhodes database of English simplex words, (2) parsed by assonance and rime, from which we continue to draw in our later studies; indeed, this kind of investigation has come to be known as assonance-rime analysis, to distinguish it from the more fine-grained phonosemantic theories advanced by Margaret Magnus (Dictionary, God's, "What's in a Word?").
This present study, dipped from the same spring, is a continuation and refinement of earlier preliminary works on rimes (Lawler, "Rhyme," "On the Phonosemantic"; Hoover, "Reasons for Rimes").
In fact, though I include summaries, with examples, for all 62 vigesimal rimes in which I have been able to find signs of significant phonosemantic coherence (see appendix A), I will concentrate in this paper on only a few of the most coherent.
This phenomenon goes by various names, (8) but we will refer to it here as phonosemantics. (9) Some examples are listed in Figures 3 and 4.
(2) Epigraphs containing the word style are quotations from the OED (2nd edition); others are taken from Margaret Magnus's collection of quotations about phonosemantics at
In particular, it fits beautifully into the Modern English phonosemantic assonance-rime classifier system.