The Grammar of Japanese Mimetics: Perspectives from structure, acquisition, and translation

1st Edition

Noriko Iwasaki, Peter Sells, Kimi Akita

Published December 13, 2016
Reference - 240 Pages - 22 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138181908 - CAT# Y220446
Series: Routledge Studies in East Asian Linguistics


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Mimetic words, also known as ‘sound-symbolic words’, ‘ideophones’ or more popularly as ‘onomatopoeia’, constitute an important subset of the Japanese lexicon; we find them as well in the lexicons of other Asian languages and sub-Saharan African languages. Mimetics play a central role in Japanese grammar and feature in children’s early utterances. However, this class of words is not considered as important in English and other European languages. This book aims to bridge the gap between the extensive research on Japanese mimetics and its availability to an international audience, and also to provide a better understanding of grammatical and structural aspects of sound-symbolic words from a Japanese perspective. Through the accounts of mimetics from the perspectives of morpho-syntax, semantics, language development and translation of mimetic words, linguists and students alike would find this book particularly valuable.

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