Sounds Like Life: Sound-Symbolic Grammar, Performance, and Cognition in Pastaza Quechua

Sounds Like Life: Sound-Symbolic Grammar, Performance, and Cognition in Pastaza Quechua

by Janis B. Nuckolls
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Sound-symbolism occurs when words resemble the sounds associated with the phenomena they attempt to describe, rather than an arbitrary representation. For example the word raven is arbitrary in that it does not resemble a raven; cuckoo, however, is sound -symbolic in that it resembles the bird's call.

In Sounds Like Life, Janis Nuckolls studies the occurrence of

Overview

Sound-symbolism occurs when words resemble the sounds associated with the phenomena they attempt to describe, rather than an arbitrary representation. For example the word raven is arbitrary in that it does not resemble a raven; cuckoo, however, is sound -symbolic in that it resembles the bird's call.

In Sounds Like Life, Janis Nuckolls studies the occurrence of sound-symbolic words in Pastaza Quechua (a dialect of Quechua), which is spoken in eastern Ecuador. The use of sound-symbolic words is much more prevalent in Pastaza Quechua than in any other language, and they symbolize a wider range of sensory perceptions including sounds, rhythms, and visual patterns. Nuckolls uses discourse data from everyday contexts to demonstrate the Quechua speakers' elaborate schematic perceptual structure to describe experience through sound-symbolic language. With words for contact with a surface, opening and closing, falling, sudden realizations, and moving through water and space, Nuckolls finds that sound-symbolism is integral to the Quechua speakers' way of thinking about and expressing their experience of the world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book speaks for the value of intensively conducted linguistic field research, evocatively encourages our reassessments of dichotomic theories about language, and will doubtless occupy quite a unique place on the shelves of Quechua studies for some years to come."—Anthropological Linguistics

"An excellent study....It will be an important contribution to anthropological linguistics in general and to our understanding of language and culture relations in Native South America in particular."—Joel Sherzer, University of Texas, Austin

"...[it is] a work that soars high and captures some alluring snapshots of the fascinating interplay between grammatical aspect and sound-symbolic forms in the spoken language performance of a nonliterate culture. It is a stimulating exploration that anyone interested in sound symbolism will have to consult."—Journal of Anthropological Research

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195089851
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/28/1996
Series:
Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics Series , #2
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.55(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1320L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

University of Alabama-Birmingham

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >