ENGLISH LANGUAGE - Onomatopoeia

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ENGLISH LANGUAGE - Onomatopoeia

Post  Vincent Law on Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:14 pm

An onomatopoeia or onomatopœia, from the Greek ὀνοματοποιία; ὄνομα for "name" and ποιέω for "I make", adjectival form: "onomatopoeic" or "onomatopoetic") is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. Onomatopoeia (as an uncountable noun) refers to the property of such words. Common occurrences of onomatopoeias include animal noises, such as "oink" or "meow" or "roar" or "chirp". Onomatopoeias are not the same across all languages; they conform to some extent to the broader linguistic system they are part of; hence the sound of a clock may be tick tock in English, dī dā in Mandarin, or katchin katchin in Japanese.

In the case of a frog croaking, the spelling may vary because different frog species around the world make different sounds: Ancient Greek brekekekex koax koax (only in Aristophanes' comic play The Frogs) for probably marsh frogs; English ribbit for species of frog found in North America; English verb "croak" for the common frog.

Some other very common English-language examples include hiccup, zoom, bang, beep, moo, and splash. Machines and their sounds are also often described with onomatopoeia, as in honk or beep-beep for the horn of an automobile, and vroom or brum for the engine. When someone speaks of a mishap involving an audible arcing of electricity, the word "zap" is often used (and has subsequently been expanded and used to describe non-auditory effects generally connoting the same sort of localized but thorough interference or destruction similar to that produced in short-circuit sparking).

For animal sounds, words like quack (duck), moo (cow), bark or woof (dog), roar (lion), miaow or purr (cat) and baa (sheep) are typically used in English. Some of these words are used both as nouns and as verbs.

Some languages flexibly integrate onomatopoeic words into their structure. This may evolve into a new word, up to the point that it is no longer recognized as onomatopoeia. One example is English "bleat" for the sheep noise: in medieval times it was pronounced approximately as "blairt" (but without an R-component), or "blet" with the vowel drawled, which is much more accurate as onomatopoeia than the modern pronunciation.

An example of the opposite case is "cuckoo", which, due to continuous familiarity with the bird noise down the centuries, has kept approximately the same pronunciation as in Anglo-Saxon times and its vowels have not changed to as in "furrow".

Verba dicendi are a method of integrating onomatopoeia and ideophones into grammar.

Sometimes things are named from the sounds they make. In English, for example, there is the universal fastener which is named for the onomatopoeic of the sound it makes: the zip (in the UK) or zipper (in the U.S.). Many birds are named after their calls, such as the Bobwhite quail, the Weero, the Morepork, the killdeer, chickadee, the cuckoo, the chiffchaff, the whooping crane and the whip-poor-will. In Tamil and Malayalam, the word for crow is kaakaa. This practice is especially common in certain languages such as Māori and, therefore, in names of animals borrowed from these languages.

In many of the world's languages, onomatopoeia-like words are used to describe phenomena apart from the purely auditive. Japanese often utilizes such words to describe feelings or figurative expressions about objects or concepts. For instance, Japanese barabara is used to reflect an object's state of disarray or separation, and shiiin is the onomatopoetic form of absolute silence (used at the time an English speaker might expect to hear the sound of crickets chirping or a pin dropping in a silent room, or someone coughing). It is used in English as well with terms like bling, which describes the glinting of light on things like gold, chrome or precious stones. In Japanese, kirakira is used for glittery things.

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Re: ENGLISH LANGUAGE - Onomatopoeia

Post  Vincent Law on Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:28 pm

10 Onomatopoeic Words for Poetry and Everyday Writing:
What is onomatopoeia? This unique phonetic phenomenon includes a wide variety of words that imitate, resemble or mimic the sounds or actions they describe. Children use them, animal noises embody them, comic books print them and world-class poets control them. Here are 10 of the funniest, quirkiest and handiest onomatopoeic words.


1.) Buzz
There is something undeniably thrilling and phonetically exciting about the tongue-tingling Z sound. This simple word perfectly embodies the vibrations of tiny bugs and insects. Here’s an example: “The big bumblebee buzzed and buzzed as it hovered over the picnic basket.”

2.) Flutter
This lovely onomatopoeic word captures a striking, intangible airiness and delicate swooshing with its light syllables and buoyant rhythm. For example, “The butterfly’s colorful flapping wings made the most ethereal flittering, fluttering sound.”

3.) Honk
This short word is crude, obnoxious and loud. These are traits that allow it to perfectly resemble a car horn or the call of a gaggle of geese. A person might say, “The driver wouldn’t stop honking until the car moved out of the way.”

4.) Clang
With its abrupt sound and single-syllable construction, this bold word is a highly effective onomatopoeia. For example, “The factory where Jasmine worked was filled with a cacophony of loud clangs and piercing clanks produced by the clattering machinery.”

5.) Hiccup

Like a stammer or stutter, this word perfectly mimics the uncontrollable spasm it describes. Here’s one example: “Each time Rose hiccuped, her words were interrupted by an abrupt hitch.”

6.) Giggle
Classically onomatopoeic, this delightfully silly word captures the distinctive bubbling sound of this uncontrollable form of laughter. For example, “The classroom erupted with harmonious giggles.”

7.) Gurgle
Something about the expressive combination of vowels and the hard G allows this lively word to mimic the sputtering sound of liquids. Here’s one example: “After drinking a gallon of water, Gabriella heard a terrible gurgle rise up from her stomach.”

8.) Rumble
This exciting onomatopoeic word creates a bold bass sound that mimics a strong, deep grumbling. It also evokes a tumultuous rolling sound like one might experience during an earthquake. For example, “Matthew and Anthony enjoyed every moment of the low-frequency rumble as they rode in the back seat of their grandfather’s antique car.”

9.) Whir
This popular cousin of “whiz” and “whirl” creates a strong sense of motion and power with its unique phonetic ring. Reminiscent of a bird, a plane or an industrial engine, this fantastic onomatopoeic word captures a mechanical drone and an almost indescribable sound of speed. Here’s an example: “The spinning propellers created a percussive whir as the helicopter passed over the town.”

10.) Vroom Vroom
Seemingly simple, this important onomatopoeic word is one of the most effective ways of describing the immense power of a mechanical engine accelerating. Young children are exceptionally talented at mimicking the sounds they hear, and this childlike imitation of a high-powered engine is no less masterful. Here’s an example: “Ready for a race, the drivers filled the streets with the vroom vroom of their engines when they revved their cars.”

Onomatopoeic words are versatile and evocative. These simple words are ideal for adding a dash of spice and phonetic sizzle to poetry and prose. Have you used onomatopoeic words recently? Do you have a favorite? Share your comments, and let us know.

http://www.grammar.net/onomatopoeia
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