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Sound Symbolism

Subject: Linguistics

Language is often described as an arbitrary linkage between sound and meaning—for example, there is nothing in the sound of the word cat that suggests its meaning—it is merely a ...

sound symbolism

sound symbolism   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014

... symbolism A (fancied) representative relationship between the sounds making up a word and its meaning . Various kinds of sound and meaning correlations are said to exist; specialized terms include iconicity and onomatopoeia . Usage is inconsistent. Sound symbolism can be used as a cover term for all such phenomena, but in the literature the term often seems to exclude obvious onomatopoeia such as cuckoo and cock-a-doodle-doo...

Sound Symbolism

Sound Symbolism   Reference library

International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
2,718 words

...whirl, wipe, waddle . 4. Is sound symbolism universal? Sound symbolism has been found in all languages, and certain kinds of sound symbolism may be close to universal. One well-studied aspect of sound symbolism is diminutive sound symbolism, which is often expressed through the employment of high front vowels and palatal consonants. An areal study of diminutive sound symbolism in American Indian languages is a good example of such a study (Nichols 1971 ). Similarly, high front vowels in English represent soft or small sounds ( ping, click ), whereas low and...

sound symbolism

sound symbolism   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
126 words

... symbolism The use of specific sounds or features of sounds in a partly systematic relation to meanings or categories of meaning. Generally taken to include: 1. The use of forms traditionally called onomatopoeic : e.g. chiffchaff (warbler whose song alternates a higher and a lower note). 2. Partial resemblances in form among words whose meanings are similar: e.g. among slip, slide , or slither , all with initial [sl]. In the second case, as in the first, the correspondence may be partly explicable by the nature of the sounds and meanings involved:...

sound symbolism

sound symbolism noun   Quick reference

New Oxford American Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
39 words
sound symbolism

sound symbolism noun   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
43 words
Sound Symbolism

Sound Symbolism  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Linguistics
Language is often described as an arbitrary linkage between sound and meaning—for example, there is nothing in the sound of the word cat that suggests its meaning—it is merely a ...
1 Writing Systems

1 Writing Systems   Reference library

Andrew Robinson

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Social sciences
Length:
6,162 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
7

...For, as the founder of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure, wrote, language may be compared to a sheet of paper: ‘Thought is on one side of the sheet and sound on the reverse side. Just as it is impossible to take a pair of scissors and cut one side of the paper without at the same time cutting the other, so it is impossible in a language to isolate sound from thought, or thought from sound’ (Saussure, 111). The symbols of what may have become the first ‘full’ writing system are generally thought to have been pictograms: iconic drawings of, say, a pot,...

Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes   Reference library

Stuart Weeks and Stuart Weeks

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
7,053 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...genre. In any case, the symbolic interpretation should not be rejected because the symbolism is sometimes obscure: the passage has an enigmatic character, which may be as deliberate as in a riddle. Taking this approach, v. 2 refers to growing blindness, and v. 3 to trembling limbs, a bent back, the loss of teeth, and poor sight. v. 4 presents greater problems: we should translate ‘Doors are shut on the street when the sound of the mill grows low, but it rises to the sound of a bird while all the song-notes are brought down’; the references may then be to...

Enlightenment

Enlightenment   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
7,794 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...Enlightenment in England at this period appeared near-moribund. Attempts to synthesize science and religion had become tired and derivative, moderate religion had become genteel and boring, and liberal politics was threatened by the appropriation of its universal concerns and symbolism (predominantly neoclassical) for self-congratulatory patriotic ends. This mould of complacency was broken, however, early in George III 's reign with the revival of the cause of *parliamentary reform , the growing tension with the colonies which stimulated new political ideas...

Feminist Scholarship

Feminist Scholarship   Reference library

Yvonne Sherwood

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
6,603 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
12

...pattern, the husbands and fathers sink into the sub-plot (they die in the first few verses) and Boaz sits in the wings as Ruth, Naomi, and a female chorus take centre stage. The book of Luke is a book which foregrounds women; it praises them and offers a kind of equality of symbolism whereby for every male parable and male example there is an equal and opposite parable centred on a female character. In addition to these book-length islands in a biblical sea of androcentricism feminist analysis has also pointed to a whole group of exemplary, even powerful, female...

Job

Job   Reference library

James L. Crenshaw and James L. Crenshaw

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
28,334 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...not harm Job's person. ( 1:13–22 ) The third scene begins on a happy note but quickly descends to the depths of human suffering. Successive messengers inform Job and the reader simultaneously of four calamities, two of heavenly origin and two inflicted by human foes (note the symbolism, four for completion, heaven and earth for the entirety of space). Repetition gives the awful news a stupefying effect. One by one the lone survivors tell Job of his losses: marauding Sabeans killed his oxen and donkeys, a heavenly fire consumed his sheep, Chaldeans stole his...

1 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians   Reference library

Philip F. Esler and Philip F. Esler

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
15,718 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...is unknown among Greek authors and is found only in some fairly erotic passages in Israelite works ( Bassler 1995 : 55 ). There are other, less likely, possibilities for skeuos . Donfried ( 1985 : 342) argues that it means the penis, being a reference to the strong phallic symbolism in the cults of Dionysus, Cabirus, and Samothrace prevalent in Thessalonica. With ktasthai it means ‘to gain control over one's penis, or over the body with respect to sexual matters’. Bassler ( 1995 ) makes an interesting new suggestion that it refers to one's virgin...

Acts

Acts   Reference library

Loveday Alexander and Loveday Alexander

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
42,037 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...utter any warnings to Paul, but their presence adds to the authority of the group of local people ( v. 12 ) who warn Paul against proceeding to Jerusalem. Most prominent among these is Agabus, an itinerant charismatic from Jerusalem who acts out a classic piece of prophetic symbolism ( v. 11 ) as a warning to Paul; he must be the same as the one mentioned in 11:28 , though Luke makes no cross-reference. The scene climaxes with a joint appeal from the local Christians and Paul's travelling companions ( v. 12 ); Paul is moved but unshakable in his resolve to...

Ezekiel

Ezekiel   Reference library

J. Galambush and J. Galambush

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
34,333 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...wheels are themselves moved (vertically as well as horizontally) by the spirit of the creatures. In vv. 22–8 a Ezekiel sees a crystalline dome stretching over the creatures' heads ( cf. Gen 1:6 ), and notes the sound made by the creatures' wings as they move, ‘like the sound of mighty waters, like the thunder of the Almighty’ ( v. 24 ). A voice sounds from over the firmament; the creatures halt and let down their wings. Ezekiel now looks above the dome to see the ‘likeness of a throne’ with what appears to be ‘something that seemed like a human form’ ( v. 26...

Hebrews

Hebrews   Reference library

Harold W. Attridge and Harold W. Attridge

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
22,421 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...system as extant. Hopes for restoration remained alive and expressed themselves in terms of the presence of ideal realities. Furthermore, Hebrews refers not to the temple reconstructed by Herod the Great, but to the tabernacle of Scripture. Hebrews is interested in biblical symbolism, not the fate of the cultic site. The condition of the temple is, therefore, irrelevant to dating. 2. While a specific date proves elusive, the general range within which Hebrews was written is clear. The work is certainly known to 1 Clement , an exhortation from the leadership...

Psalms

Psalms   Reference library

C. S. Rodd and C. S. Rodd

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
62,266 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
3

...Israel , 2nd edn. (Cardiff: University of Wales Press). ———(1979), The Cultic Prophet and Israel's Psalmody (Cardiff: University of Wales Press). Kaiser, W. C., Jr. (1983), Toward Old Testament Ethics (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Academie Books, Zondervan). Keel, O. (1978), The Symbolism of the Biblical World: Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Book of Psalms, ET (New York: Seabury; London: SPCK). Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901), The Book of Psalms (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges) (3 vols.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), iii. Kraus, H.-J....

Ezra–Nehemiah

Ezra–Nehemiah   Reference library

Daniel L. Smith-Christopher and Daniel L. Smith-Christopher

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
18,603 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...25:4; Ps 144:14; Lam 2:8, 18 ). Visions of peace speak of Jerusalem without walls, or with doors always open ( Ezek 38:11; Zech 2:5 ; less certainly Isa 60:11 ). In his classic study, Mumford ( 1961 ) writes of the significance of the wall as part of social and political symbolism: ‘what we now call “monumental architecture” is first of all the expression of power…the purpose of this art was to produce respectful terror’. 2. A great deal of effort has been expended on the geographical references in Nehemiah, but Avigad ( 1983 : 62 ) concludes: ‘no...

Ephesians

Ephesians   Reference library

J. D. G. Dunn and J. D. G. Dunn

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
17,129 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...control from the first—his good pleasure and will ( vv. 5, 9 ), ‘according to [his] purpose … according to his counsel and will’ ( v. 11 ). Spatial imagery is also prominent. The blessings in which believers already share are those ‘in the heavenly places’ ( v. 3 ), where the symbolism of higher (heavens above earth) denotes greater bliss in a way more problematic for modern readers (see also 6:12 ). The final union will embrace everything in the heavens and in the earth ( v. 10 ). Most striking of all, however, is the repeated emphasis on the location and...

Into Exile: From the Assyrian Conquest of Israel to the Fall of Babylon

Into Exile: From the Assyrian Conquest of Israel to the Fall of Babylon   Reference library

Mordechai Cogan

Oxford History of the Biblical World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
17,701 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
2

...were conducted according to standard Assyrian legal practice, as is made clear by the cuneiform sale document of a parcel of land: the owner of the field in question, an Israelite named Netanyahu, impressed his personal seal decorated with typical Mesopotamian lunar symbolism. King Manasseh seems to have been taken up by this new cultural wave, which found its most glaring expression in the introduction of unorthodox forms of worship at the national shrine: He erected altars for Baal, made a sacred pole, as King...

Isaiah

Isaiah   Reference library

R. Coggins and R. Coggins

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
64,792 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...The picture is of the need to give some succour to refugees from disaster, but whether this was a specific historical situation, or a more general plea, we have no means of knowing. The geographical area involved is usually thought to be Arabia, but this may be because of the symbolism involved in its remoteness and the threat implicit in the desert. ( 22:1–4 ) Though included in the series introduced by the word ‘oracle’ which has mainly been concerned with foreign nations, the ‘valley of vision’ here must surely be Jerusalem itself. The whole theme of the...

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