Abstract and Keywords
The major word classes nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, even interjections or exclamations as well as function words such as adpositions and particles are natural subjects of detailed descriptions in grammars. By contrast, words subsumed under the term “ideophone” are widely ignored in most grammars or are hard to find as a separate word class. This is irritating because some linguists confirm that ideophones may form a huge class of words with even hundreds of members in many languages. This chapter gives a brief introduction to the world of ideophones, highlights formal and discourse-pragmatic criteria that can be used to define an ideophone cross-linguistically, and describes their typical characteristics.
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