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International Journal of Theoretical Linguistics

Ed. by Roelcke, Thorsten / Kelih, Emmerich / Köhler, Reinhard

Editorial Board Member: Altmann, Gabriel / Andreev, Sergey / Embleton, Sheila / Gries, Stefan Th. / Grzybek, Peter / Leiss, Elisabeth / Liu, Haitao / Macutek, Ján / Bruch Nemcová, Emilia / Patrás, Vladimír / Sanada, Haruko / Wilson, Andrew

2 Issues per year

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.125

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Phonetic Symbolism in Natural Languages

Viktor V. Levickij
  • Jurij-Fedjkowytsch-Nationaluniversität Tscherniwzi, LS f. Germanische, allgemeine u. vergleichende Spr, Tscherniwzi, Ukraine


Phonetic composition of words denoting 24 polar concepts (big, little, strong, weak, hot, cold, light, dark, fast, slow, etc.) in 53 languages has been statistically investigated. Statistical universal connections between certain phonetic and semantic units, the correlation between scales, as well as the correlation between unrelated languages have been found. Factors causing phonetic symbolism, phonetic symbolism oppositions, the relation between objective and subjective phonetic symbolism, the coexistence of phonetic symbolism and arbitrariness of the linguistic sign are discussed.

Keywords: phonetic composition; phonetic symbolism; statistical correlation; arbitrariness of the linguistic sign

About the article

Published in Print: 2013-04-01

Citation Information: Glottotheory International Journal of Theoretical Linguistics, ISSN (Print) 1337-7892, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/glot.2013.0006.

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