Current Institutional Affiliation
University of Michigan / Center for Japanese Studies

Award Information

Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Carolina Asia Center
Beyond arbitrariness: iconicity in Austro-Asiatic languages

This project will examine the diverse and wide-­‐ranging use of iconicity (also called ‘sound symbolism’ or ‘expressive’) in Austro-­‐Asiatic languages, specifically the Austro-­‐Asiatic languages of South Asia. The project’s aim is to develop a corpus of iconic expressions that includes lexicon, notes on usage, and descriptions of the social and cultural conditions under which these iconic expressions are uttered. The data and analysis will be included in a larger project on iconicity in South, Southeast, and East Asian languages that will be conducted under the guidance of Dr. Nathan Badenoch (Kyoto University). The project will further develop the theory of “aesthetic grammar” and foreground the study of iconicity in scholarly discussions on Asian languages and cultures.