Ideophones in Hindi

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Ideophones in Hindi
झिलमिल
VOJTĚCH DIATKA
CHARLES UNIVERISTY PRAGUE
24.11.2012
Outline
 Weird words in Hindi and their current treatment
in grammars – jhijhak (coyness, hesitating)
 My proposal how to treat them with introducing
a new linguistic category to Hindi linguistics
• Concise survey of these weird words
• Future research
„Weird“ words subsumed under Onomatopoeia
 In Smékal‘s study on reduplication appears one
category - Onomatopoeic reduplication
It contains typical onomatopoeic words




budbudānā – to mumble, to mutter
cahcahānā – to twitter
ṭapṭapānā – to drop
BUT it contains also weird words




mahmah – with fragrance
cupcāp – quitely
ṭakṭakī –stare, gaze
Smékal 1979
Hindi grammarians on „weird“ words
Treatment
•Complete omission of onomatopoeia
•Brief mention of onomatopoeic words
„Simultaneously, it has to be born in mind that
not all the actions described by onomatopoeic
words have to be connected with sounds and
in this sense are not pure ono words, as we know
them from elsewhere. This is a special way of
expression typical for more Indian languages
where various states and feelings are conveyed
by the quasi onomatopoeia.“
Grammarians
Agnihotri(2007), Pořízka(1972)
Kachru(2006:122), Shukla(2001:148-150)
and Montaut (2004:160)
Smékal (1979:6)
What are these words?
 They do not imitate sound
 They are though subsumed under onomatopeia
 They are in some respects similar to onotopoeic
words
Glimmer(ing)
Glitter(ing)
Twinkling
Shimmer(ing)
Flicker(ing)
Blazing
झिलमिल jhilmil
„poetry in ordinary language“ (Lautmalerei)
(Starry Night Over the Rhone – V.Gogh)
EVANS-PRITCHARD E. E. (1962)
The best crosslinguistic definition
Ideophones are marked words that depict sensory imagery
 They stand out from other words:

reduplication


expressive(marked,subjective element) semantics


budbudānā – to bubble, thartharānā – to tremble, to shiver
cipcipā - sticky, clinging, slimy or greasy
perceptually eXcEpTiOnAl
(DINGEMANSE 2011)
The best crosslinguistic definition
Ideophones are marked words that depict sensory imagery
 They depict rather than describe

He said he was coming. X He said: „I am coming.“
 The crucial feature [of ideophones], then, is not “resemblance to” but
“invitation to seeing as” (DINGEMANSE 2011:184)
The best crosslinguistic definition
Ideophones are marked words that depict sensory imagery
 They represent not only sensations of outer world


Hearing, vision, touch, taste and smell
but also interoceptive experiences

States of mind, subject evaluations, feelings…
 hakkā-bakkā – confused, perplexed
 Gudgud - soft, pulpy
 cakācaudh - glitter
Summary
Perceptually exceptional
Depict rather than
describe
Intercoeptive experience
Sensation of outer world
Reduplication
1.Onomatopoia
• It is not meant to be exhaustive list
• First survey of ideophones in Hindi
2.Other traditional
senses
• representatives of major word classes – verbs,
nouns, adjectives
3.Manners of
movement
4.Interoceptive
experience
Semantic domains associated with
ideophones in Hindi
1.Onomatopoia
•Core member of category Ideophones
•Words imitating sounds
2.Other traditional
senses
3.Manners of
movement
4.Interoceptive
experience
 kaṭkaṭānā – to click, to crack (V)
 susakār – hissing (N)
 gungunā – mumbling (A)
 surasurānā - to move like rustling insect (V)
pharpharáná – to flutter (as a flag) (V)
1.Onomatopoia
•Words connected with another human senses vision, touch, taste and smell
•Not “resemblance to” but “invitation to seeing
as”
2.Other traditional
senses
3.Manners of
movement
4.Interoceptive
experience
•Not equally distrubuted across all modalities of
perception
 jhilmilānā – to glitter, to shine (V)
 gudgudāhaṭ – tickling (N)
 ṭimṭimā – blazing, glittering (A)
 phusphusā – soft, tender (A)
 mahmah – with fragrance (I)
1.Onomatopoia
•This category is usually widespread across
ideophonic languages (JUNOD 1896:196)
•Could be subumed under vision
2.Other traditional
senses
3.Manners of
movement
4.Interoceptive
experience
 laplapānā – to spring, to flicker (V)
 laṛkhaṛāhaṭ– stumbling (N)
 chaṭpaṭā - wriggling (A)
 thapthapānā – to pat with love (V)
 tilmilānā – to convulse in pain (V)
1.Onomatopoia
•Not only we have extero-receptors, but also
intero-receptors and proprio-receptors
2.Other traditional
senses
3.Manners of
movement
4.Interoceptive
experience
 jhijhaknā – to hesitate (V)
 hakkābakkā - confused (A)
 thiṭhak - stiffen (I)
 gadgad – very happy (I)
gumsum – thoughtful (I)
Future research I
 Ideophonic meaning is usually inherently vague
 It is impossible to capture meaning of unit in
isolation


chaṭpaṭānā – to wriggle / to be restless/ to yearn, to
long
cipcipā – sticky / adhesive / clinging / slimy, greasy
Future research II
 Ideophones are usually understood as a separate category
of words (KILIAN-HATZ 2006:510, DINGEMANSE 2011:133)
 Semantically and functionally – one unique category
 Syntactically – two categories


genuine ideophones
Integrated ideophones
Future research II
 Genuine ideophones
(1) caṭ-paṭ capātī - quickly made bread (literally fast bread)
(2) caṭ-paṭ patā calegā – it will soon be discovered (it is adverb)
 Integrated ideophones
(1) phusphusā - fragile, brittle, soft, tender (A)
(2) laṛkhaṛāhaṭ - stumbling, staggering (N)
(3) thapthapānā - to pat with affection (V)
References
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







DINGEMANSE, M. 2011. Ideophones and the
aesthetics of everyday language in a West-African
society. The Senses & Society, 6(1), 77-85.
DINGEMANSE, M. 2011. The Meaning and Use of
Ideophones in Siwu. PhD Thesis. Radbound Univeristy
Nijmegen.
SMÉKAL, ODOLEN. 1979. The Reduplicative
Formations and Semantic Pairs in Hindi. In Asian and
African Linguistic Studies, Studia Orientalia Pragensia
IX, Univerzita Karlova.
AGNIHOTRI, RAMA, KANT. 2007. Hindi - An essential
grammar. Routledge.
KACHRU, YAMUNA. 2006. Hindi. In London Oriental
and African language library, Volume 12, John
Benjamins Bublishing.
MONTAUT, ANNIE. 2004. A grammar of Hindi. Lincom
Europa.
POŘÍZKA, VINCENT. 1972. Hindština (Hindí language
course). Praha: Státní pedagogické nakladatelství.
SHUKLA, SHALINGRAM. 2001. Hindi Morphology.
Lincom Europa.
JUNOD, HENRI A. 1896. Grammaire Ronga.
Lausanne: Imprimerie Georges Bridel & Cie.
KILIAN-HATZ,CHRISTINE. 2006. Ideophones. In
Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics, ed. Keith
Brown, 508-512. Oxford: Elsevier.

Evans-Pritchard, E. E. 1962. “Ideophones in Zande.”
Sudan Notes and Records 34: 143-146. Biblio
k poetry in languat
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