On the margins of language: Ideophones, interjections and dependencies in linguistic theory
On the margins of language: Ideophones, interjections and dependencies in linguistic theory. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.
), Dependencies in language
(pp. 195-202). Berlin: Language Science Press. doi:10.5281/zenodo.573781.
Linguistic discovery is viewpoint-dependent, just like our ideas about what is marginal and what is central in language. In this essay I consider two supposed marginalia —ideophones and interjections— which provide some useful pointers for widening our field of view. Ideophones challenge us to take a fresh look at language and consider how it is that our communication system combines multiple modes of representation. Interjections challenge us to extend linguistic inquiry beyond sentence level, and remind us that language is social-interactive at core. Marginalia, then, are not the obscure, exotic phenomena that can be safely ignored: they represent opportunities for innovation and invite us to keep pushing the edges of linguistic inquiry.