Form Miming Meaning: Iconicity in Language and Literature
The recent past has seen an increasing interest in iconicity especially among linguists. This collection puts the interdisciplinary study of iconic dimensions (comprising what has been termed 'imagic iconicity', as well as 'diagrammatic iconicity', i.e. iconicity of a more abstract and less semiotic type) on the map, paying special attention to the use of iconicity in literary texts. The studies presented here explore iconicity from two different angles. A first group of authors brings into focus how far the primary code, the code of grammar is influenced by iconic motivation (with contributions on rules involved in discourse; rules in word formation; and phonological rules), and how originally iconic models have become conventionalized. Others go one step further in exploring how, for instance, the presence of iconicity can tell us more about the structure of human cognition, or how the “iconicist desire for symmetry” can be related to the symmetry of the human body. A second group of contributors is more interested in the presence of iconicity as part of the secondary code, i.e. in how speakers and writers remotivate or play with the primary code; how they concretise what has become conventional or how they use form to add to meaning in literary texts, commercial language and in the new electronic use of texts.
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