Whoosh, off we go into another mode: The linguistic function of Mimesis and the word class status of ideophones

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationResearch


This paper combines insights on the typology of parts of speech systems and on mimetic language to argue that mimesis should be recognized a major syntactic-pragmatic function, on a par with reference and predication. The mimetic mode is integrated with the descriptive mode in actual language use and is realized by means of nonlinguistic vocalizations and direct quotations, but also conventionalized lexical items (ideophones). Building on a typological approach which regards the association of parts of speech and functions as a prototypical one, ideophones can be defined as lexemes with the primary (but not necessarily exclusive) function of mimesis.
Period4 Jan 2019
Event title93rd Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America
Event typeConference
LocationNew York, United StatesShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Linguistic Typology
  • Word classes
  • Ideophones
  • Mimesis