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Detail of contribution

Auteur: Angela BARTENS

A comparison of the ideophones of African Portuguese-lexifier creoles

Abstract/Résumé: Recent years have seen an upsurge of interest in the word class of the para- or sublinguistic level frequently called “ideophones” in the pertinent literature in both creole and non-creole languages (cf., e.g., Biagui 2012; Dingemanse 2011). In this paper, I am comparing the ideophones of the African Portuguese-lexifier creoles Kabuverdianu, Kriyôl (of Guinea-Bissau and the Casamance), Forro, Angolar, Lung’ie and Fá d’Ambú in the light of recent publications. Due to the controversial status of Bartens’ (2000) type 3 ideophones according to a number of Africanists and Creolists, I am focusing on type 1 and some type 2 ideophones of the mentioned classification, i.e., those ideophones which specify one or, in exceptional cases, a highly restricted number of lexical items and which cannot occur outside this syntacto-semantic collocation. I will briefly discuss phonological, morphological, syntactic and pragmatic properties and then focus on parallels in sub-/adstrate languages and the semantic domains the ideophones occur in. Besides the prototypical intensification (or attenuation) of color terms, for instance 'breaking (into pieces or small particles)', '(rapid) movement', 'shining (brightly/softly)', ' calm, silence, lack of movement', 'fullness, satiation', 'heat', 'wetness' and 'dryness' are concepts frequently modified by ideophones. As far as sub-/adstrate parallels are concerned, I am suggesting that not only can ideophones be retained from sub-/adstrate languages but that they quite often constitute areal features (cf. Güldemann 2008) which renders pinpointing a particular and single etymology unnecessary. Finally, I shall revisit the morphology of ideohones with regard to sub-/adstrate languages as well as the afore-mentioned semantic domains. References: Bartens, Angela. 2000. Ideophones and sound symbolism in Atlantic creoles.Helsinki: The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. Biagui, Noël Bernard. 2012. Description générale du créole afro-portugais parlé à Ziguinchor (Casamance), Dakar / Paris: Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) / Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INaLCO). Dingemanse, Mark. 2011. The Meaning and Use of Ideophones in Siwu. PhD dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen. Güldemann, Tom. 2008. Quotative indexes in African languages: a synchronic and diachronic survey. (Empirical Approaches to Language Typology 34). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.