[Lingtyp] An ideophone for cough?

Jess Tauber tetrahedralpt at gmail.com
Fri Mar 11 18:22:44 UTC 2022

Dunno if this counts precisely but Tolkien's Gollum with his hacking cough
being the basis of his name (and the word 'hack' itself).

Jess Tauber


On Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 1:19 PM Christian Lehmann <
christian.lehmann at uni-erfurt.de> wrote:

> Dear Raffaele,
> while I have no ideophone for 'cough' to offer, the following
> considerations may prove helpful:
> For some time, German has had a verb form which is morphologically the
> pure stem and whose syntactic distribution is essentially that of
> interjections. *Hust* 'cough' and *hüstel* 'cough slightly' are among
> these, just as *gähn* 'yawn', *grins* 'grin' and many others. German
> grammarians call them *Inflektiv* (inflective). (Inflectives may be
> onomatopoetic if the verb happens to be onomatopoetic; but this does not
> concern their essence.) They doubtless gained popularity in translations of
> English cartoons. The German wikipedia, and only this one, has an article
> on them.
> Some of the earlier answers to your question appear to concern
> inflectives. Regardless of whether they are onomatopoetic, I do not think
> inflectives should be subsumed under ideophones; but that, of course,
> depends on your definition of ideophone.
> Again, several of the forms offered in this thread are clearly not
> inflectives. Then again the question arises whether such words are
> ideophones. An ideophone holistically represents the perceptual impression
> of a situation; and on account of its holistic character, it either does
> not integrate into clause syntax or may at most be added as an adjunct.
> Does, e.g., *ahem* have the same distribution as the typical ideophone,
> like *zig-zag* and *helter-skelter*? It might rather be an interjection.
> Sorry for these qualms.
> Cheers, Christian
> ---------------------------------------------------
> Am 11.03.2022 um 10:58 schrieb Raffaele Simone:
> Dear all,
> working on a paper on ideophones and their place in grammar and lexicon I
> happened to wonder how things are concerning cough.
> Romance languages and other which I am familiar with do not seem to have a
> standard ideophone for it and even less a stable an accepted written
> version of it.
> Do you know languages that have an ideophone for cough and even more a way
> of indicating it in writing?
> Thanks,
> Raffaele
> --
> ===============
> Emeritus Professor, Università Roma Tre
> Hon C Lund University
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> ===============
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