Iconic words constitute an integral part of the lexicon of a language, exhibiting formmeaning resemblance. Over the course of time, semantic and phonetic transformations “weaken” the degree of iconicity of a word. This iconicity loss is known as the process of de-iconization, which is divided into four stages, and, at each consecutive stage, the degree of a word’s iconicity is reduced.
The current experimental study is the first to compare and contrast how English (N = 50) and Russian (N = 106) subjects recognize visually presented native iconic words (N = 32). Our aim is two-fold: first, to identify native speakers’ ability to perceive the fine-grained division of iconicity; and second, to control for the influence of participants’ native languages. This enables us to provide a more exhaustive analysis of the role of iconicity in word recognition and to combine empirical results with a theoretical perspective. The findings showed that the speakers of these languages are not equally sensitive to iconicity. As opposed to the English-speaking participants, who showed almost similar
performance on each group of iconic words, the Russian participants tended to respond slower and less accurately to the words that were higher in iconicity. We discuss the major factors that may affect iconic word recognition in each language.
Язык оригиналаанглийский
Номер статьи97
Число страниц19
Номер выпуска2
СостояниеОпубликовано - июн 2022

    Предметные области Scopus

  • Языки и лингвистика
  • Языки и лингвистика

ID: 94360921