[Lingtyp] Ideophonic intonation

Kilu von Prince watasenia at gmail.com
Mon Oct 23 09:36:44 UTC 2017

Hi Laura,

in the Ambrym languages, Bislama, and several other Vanuatu languages
I'm familiar with, you get patterns of repetition to signal duration
or passage of time. The most frequent word associated with it is a
verb that means, among other things "go", so for example in Bislama
you might get something like "oli stap swim, swim gogooo" (they were
bathing, bathing on and oooon) or "swim go go go go goooo". In Daakaka
this would be "yam du lyung, vyan vyan vyan vyan vyaaaaaan" etc. But
you could also repeat the lexical verb and just end the sequence with
a long "go" (swim swim swim gooo/ lyung lyung lyung lyung vyaaan).

The number of repetitions seems to be roughly iconic. The final word
is always lengthened, sometimes extremely so.

On Sun, Oct 22, 2017 at 8:14 PM, Laura McPherson
<laura.emcpherson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear typology colleagues,
> I am thinking about writing about ideophones in Seenku (Samogo, Northwestern
> Mande), and in particular about an ideophonic intonation pattern that I have
> seen with many different ideophones that I am calling "bouncing ball
> intonation". Briefly, it is characterized by repetition of the ideophonic
> stem/morpheme, slowly at first, then with increasing speed, like a bouncing
> ball coming to a stop.
> Ideophones are of course often characterized by repetition (reduplication,
> retriplication) and by unusual prosody, but I am interested in published
> sources or other cases you know of where there is a larger fixed prosodic or
> intonational template that different ideophones can be slotted into and
> whether any meaning is associated with it.
> Many thanks,
> Laura
> Laura McPherson
> Assistant Professor of Linguistics
> Dartmouth College
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