A Complete Real-World Theory of Language Should Explain How Iconicity Remains a Stable Property of Linguistic Systems

Marcus Perlman*, Greg Woodin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

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Abstract

Murgiano et al. make a compelling case for studying iconicity in multimodal face-to-face interaction, but they appear ambivalent about the importance of iconicity at the level of the linguistic system. We argue that, rather than decreasing over time, iconicity is a stable property of languages. Understanding how and why this is so is critical to building a complete real-world theory of language that bridges the situated context of language use with language as an evolving symbolic system. An important point for future research is to examine the interface between iconic prosody and the latent iconic features of words and signs that are frozen in the linguistic system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cognition
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Language production
  • Embodied cognition
  • Semantics

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