Faire une nouvelle recherche
Make a new search
Lancer la recherche

Titre du document / Document title

A la recherche du sens perdu : <sn->, du marqueur au mythe = The search for the lost meaning : <sn->, from marker to myth

Auteur(s) / Author(s)

PHILPS D. (1) ;

Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)

(1) Université de Toulouse-le Mirail, FRANCE

Résumé / Abstract

We explore the hypothesis that the formal invariant sn- in initial consonant clusters in English is the surface manifestation of an underlying invariance, and attempt to establish the nature of the latter. After noting that those sn- words which refer to the protruding, oro-nasal area of the face, or to the face in general (i.e. the vast majority) do so symbolically rather than anatomically, we show that the small minority which do not refer to this area nevertheless appear to concern referents exhibiting some form of protrusion. By establishing that there exist convergent typological links between sn-'s known Proto-Indo-European roots, the semantic changes characteristic of sn- words in both standard and dialect English, and certain sn- words referring to a specific type of mythic symbol, we feel able to conclude that sn- is the vestige of an unconscious, common naming strategy. The latter appears to involve the anthropocentric use of sn- to refer to the oro-nasal area, and its anthropomorphic extension to certain non-human, real-world phenomena which seem to have triggered a self-representational image of this area in the human mind. Our study indicates that sn- can be broken down into an initial, expressive variant (<s->) and a core invariant (<-n->), the ultimate semiogenetic source of the sound symbolism explored herein. We further hypothesise that sn- is part of a system of lexical markers (<sl->/<sm->/<sn->/ <sw->), as is its core invariant (<sn->/<gn->/<kn->/<pn->, etc.). Finally, we suggest that the <sn-> oro-nasal link perceived in English may be echoed by a similar link attested in many of the world's major language families

Revue / Journal Title

Anglophonia    ISSN  1278-3331 

Source / Source

1997, no 2 (266 p.)  (1 p.3/4), pp. 209-238

Langue / Language

Revue : Anglais

Revue : Anglais ; Français

Editeur / Publisher

Presses universitaires du Mirail, Toulouse, FRANCE  (1997) (Revue)

Mots-clés anglais / English Keywords









Mots-clés français / French Keywords



Invariant sémantique






Symbolisme phonique












Localisation / Location

INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 26411, 35400007852438.0100

Nº notice refdoc (ud4) : 2458104

Faire une nouvelle recherche
Make a new search
Lancer la recherche