Ideophone-gesture composites: depictive type, sendory class, and modality

Janis Nuckolls


Our paper seeks to clarify the interrelations between ideophones and gestures in the Pastaza dialect of Ecuadorian Quichua. We argue that in some instances there is a very straightforward semantic relationship between ideophones and gestures, especially when they depict visually observable motion. In other instances, it’s necessary to consider not only the interrelations between ideophones and gestures, but between ideophones, verbs and gestures, because the ideophone and its gesture are specifying the manner of a verb’s motion, or an image of the verb’s action as ongoing, or accomplished and complete. Gestures, therefore, not only illustrate ideophones’ meanings, but also tie those meanings together with a verb’s grammatical and semantic specifications.

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