[Lingtyp] query: how do ludlings apply to ideophones?

Hiroto Uchihara uchihara at buffalo.edu
Thu Aug 27 17:22:34 UTC 2020

Dear David,

In Japanese "babi-go", which inserts a syllable -bV after each mora, this
-bV apply this to ideophones too (as well as to final particles), as in
(2), at least for me:

(1) mógumogu-to tabé-másh-ita=ká
     'Did (you) munch on it?'

(2) mobógúbúmóbúgubu-tobo tababébémábáshibitaba=kábá

Maybe the Japanese babi-go is based more on orthography, at least in my
case; I wonder how illiterate speakers would react.

Best regards,

El jue., 27 de ago. de 2020 a la(s) 12:00, David Gil (gil at shh.mpg.de)

> Dear all,
> Does anybody have any data on whether and how ludlings apply to ideophones?
> (Terminology: Ludlings, also known as language games, or secret languages,
> are specialized speech styles in which you do things like insert a [b] in
> every syllable, or reverse the order of syllables in a word.  Ideophones
> are forms that appear to stand apart from the regular grammatical  rules
> and constraints of the language, both phonologically and in terms of their
> meanings which often contain an affective component; although most renowned
> from languages of West Africa and Mainland Southeast Asia, they are found
> in most or all languages.)
> My prediction, which I would like to test, is that ideophones will be
> opaque to ludlings, that is to say, when applying to an utterance
> containing an ideophone, the ludling will "skip over" the ideophone and not
> apply to it.  But of course I could be wrong ...
> Elsewhere I have observed that in languages with (typically
> sentence-final) pragmatic particles, such particles are opaque to ludlings,
> and I used this to argue that such particles lie on a separate and largely
> suprasegmental tier to which the ludling does not apply.  I would like to
> explore whether a similar argument might also be applicable to ideophones —
> hence this query.
> Thanks,
> David
> --
> David Gil
> Senior Scientist (Associate)
> Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
> Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
> Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
> Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
> Mobile Phone (Israel): +972-556825895
> Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81344082091
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Dr. Hiroto Uchihara
Seminario de Lenguas Indígenas
Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Circuito Mario de la Cueva
Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, Ciudad de México.
Tel. Seminario:(+52)-(55)-5622-7489
Office: (+52)-(55)-5622-7250, Ext. 49223
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