Concept

Japanese sound symbolism

Résumé
The Japanese language has a large inventory of sound symbolic or mimetic words, known in linguistics as ideophones. Such words are found in written as well as spoken Japanese. Known popularly as onomatopoeia, these words do not just imitate sounds but also cover a much wider range of meanings; indeed, many sound-symbolic words in Japanese are for things that make no noise originally, most clearly demonstrated by 'silently', not to be confused with the religion Shintō. Categories The sound-symbolic words of Japanese can be classified into four main categories: ; Animate phonomime : words that mimic sounds made by living things, like a dog's bark (wan-wan). ; Inanimate phonomime : words that mimic sounds made by inanimate objects, like wind blowing or rain falling (zā-zā). ; Phenomime : words that depict states, conditions, or manners of the external world (non-auditory senses), such as "damp" or "stealthily". ; Psychomime : words that depict psychological states or bodily fe
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