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Les Onomatopees Et Meophones Dujaponais

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image of Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

Japanese imitative words (gitaigo and giongo) are not simple attempts to reproduce extra-Linguistical phenomena in a non arbitrary way.The majority of these words results from definite phonological and suffixal rules operating on a few root words and constitute many semantico-formal families. This shows that Japanese imitative words are grammaticalized and that their creation is subjected to rules.The second interesting point concerning these words is that many of them are formally very close to Corean imitative words. Such a resemblance attests the fact that Japanese onomatopoeia and ideophones constitute the substratum of a Language which was once common to the Japanese and Korean peoples.


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