Onomatopoeia Essay example

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Onomatopoeia Because of its special status symbolizing sound, onomatopoeia has the distinction of being the only aspect of English where there is an intrinsic connection between the language and the ‘real world’. It is well known that the connection between words and their referents is arbitrary; house is no more appropriate than mansion (French) or casa (Spanish). Onomatopoeic words, however, may have a physical connection with their referents; the sound of wind is created by air moving through a restricted passage and this description is equally valid for the fricative consonants which may be used to represent the wind in a poetic context: I lay in an agony of imagination as the wind…show more content…
The onomatopoeic words, then, form one strand in a complex interweaving of lexical, grammatical and phonological effects. More unusual uses of conventional onomatopoeia include those where the suggestion of sounds is unexpected: The woman in the block of ivory soap has massive thighs that neigh, great breasts that blare and strong arms that trumpet. This extract from The Woman in the Ordinary by Marge Piercy uses onomatopoeic words to suggest a figurative connection between parts of the woman’s body and certain sounds. The overall effect of there lines is one of enormous strength; her thighs are like great horses, her breasts, perhaps, have the power of high amplitude loudspeakers. Often the choice of a single onomatopoeic word has an extraordinary power to evoke the sound it conveys. This is true of one of the many effective words in Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen: If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the forth-corrupted lungs, … The production of a velar plosive, /g/, sound involves a constriction of the throat similar to the action of gargling and its repetition in the word (possibly three times for some accents of English) reflects the repetitive nature of the
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