12
Feb
10

Phonestheme


A Phonestheme is consonant cluster apparently associated with a particular semantic field, but with no distinguishable independent meaning.

Some examples:

English phonaestheme “gl-” occurs in a large number of words relating to light or vision, like “glitter”, “glisten”, “glow”, “gleam”, “glare”, “glint”, and so on.

Also, “sn-“, related to the mouth or nose, as in “snarl”, “snout”, “snicker”, “snack”, and so on, and “sl-“, which appears in words denoting frictionless motion, like “slide”, “slick”, “sled”, and so on.

While phonesthemes have mostly been identified in the onsets of words and syllables, they can have other forms.

There has been some argument that endings like “ash” and “ack” in English also serve as phonesthemes, due to their patterning in words that denote forceful, destructive contact (“smash”, “crash”, “bash”, etc.) and abrupt contact (“smack”, “whack”, “crack”, etc.), respectively.

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Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.

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