Abstract and Keywords
This article first addresses the drive for non-referential symmetry in Cambodian, and comparable decorative frills in other languages. The evidence within Cambodian favours the ‘whole cloth’ theory. A striking property of the symmetrical Khmer compounds is that they alliterate much more often than they rhyme. It has always been stated that the final motive for analogical extension or levelling is the drive to make one meaning correspond to one form – and hence, the drive is ultimately a cognitive one for transparency. The iconic motivation is an example of congruity, in this case between a linguistic and a conceptual structure. The discussion has dealt with both syntagmatic and paradigmatic cases of non-referential symmetry.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.