Abstract: The present paper reviews major avenues of research into linguistic iconism, revealing key problems and establishing the degree to which this sphere of academic studies is represented online. To solve these problems, a universal information environment (an international website) for academic, educational, and innovative efforts in studying linguistic iconism is proposed. The number of academic centres and schools devoted to the problem already established in Russia (in St. Petersburg, Pyatigorsk, Biysk, Perm, Saratov, and Ufa), the paper argues, makes the country the optimal base for launching the project. Contemporary Russian academic theories of linguistic iconism contend that the linguistic sign is non-arbitrary and motivated, reinvigorating the iconic theory of the origin of the language, modelling the proto-conceptual iconic language space, and fuelling software developments aimed at phonosemantic and colour and graphical analysis of language (Russian, English, Tatar, and Bashkir).

Keywords: linguistic iconism, phonosemantics, Internet project, organising international academic cooperation and exchange of information, onomatopoeia, interjections, vocal gestures, ideophones


1. Introduction
The goal of the present study is to analyse key problems in linguistic iconism studies, review the available online resources dealing with these problems (phonosemantics, sound symbolisms, ideophones, onomatopoeia, vocal gestures, interjections, zaum, auditory-graphemic synaesthesia, auditory-chromatic associativity, etc.), and also to try to solve these problems by creating a specialised Internet project.

Currently, this branch of knowledge has no single universal designation: phonosemantics (М. Magnus, R.W.Wescott, S.V.Voronin), phonosemics (R.W.Wescott), linguistic iconism, sound symbolism (in the USA, А.Abelin), mimologique (in France), mimology (turkology), expressive symbolism, and phonetic symbolism (E.Sapir), etc.

But its main problem is the critical view the Academia has towards the concept of linguistic iconism, and, most of all, its primary motivation (non-arbitrariness) of the linguistic sign thesis, the iconic theory of the origin of language, and the notion of the link between the sound-form and the meaning of the linguistic unit. As, for example, demonstrated in the recent International Journal of Linguistics (Macrothink Institute, USA) article by P.K.Agrawal [Agrawal 2014].

The main argument aimed against the subject is Ferdinand de Saussure’s principle of the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign: ‘No-one disputes the principle of arbitrariness… It dominates the whole of linguistics; its corollaries are infinite.’ [Saussure 1977:101]

Nevertheless, there are numerous proponents of linguistic iconism in Russia and internationally, autonomous and isolated (despite one of the main principles of phonosemantics being the principle of linguistic universals that are impossible to uncover without coordinating the efforts of as many researchers in as many languages as possible).

2. Methodology
The analysis of the current state of research into linguistic iconism was done in three stages: first, conducting a conceptual analysis of the available research into the subject; then performing a qualitative analysis of how well the relevant ideas, schools, and avenues of research are represented and promoted online; and then drawing up plans for an academic project to solve the issues uncovered.

3. Prior studies
The idea of linguistic iconism spans millennia. Among the most frequently quoted examples are the Ancient Greek concepts of θέσις (Aristotle, Hermogenes) and φύσις (stoics), works by French classicists (Charles de Brosses, Antoine Court de Gébelin, Charles Nodier), English empiricists (Thomas Hobbes and John Locke), the world-renowned philosophers of the language (Giambattista Vico, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Johann Gottfried Herder, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Heymann Steinthal, Wilhelm Wundt, Hermann Paul), etc.

There are numerous definitive Russian-language works detailing the history of phonosemantics in Russia and internationally [Журавлев 1974; Воронин 1990; Genette 1976; Михалёв 1995; Левицкий 1998; Magnus 2001; Шляхова 2003, 2005; Прокофьева 2007; Колева-Златева 2008, etc.].

In the most general terms, the history of linguistic iconism studies comprise several major trends (see Appendix 3 for references):

  1. The idea of the loss of phonetic motivation over the course of the evolution of language (W.Wundt, W.Oehl, E.Cassirer, R.Paget, H.Paul, J.van Ginneken, G.Revesz, H.Werner, H.Bayley, G.Fano, М.Jousse, G.W.Hewes, A.A.Leontyev, I.N.Gorelov, A.M.Shakhnarovitch, G.E.Kornilov);
  2. A cautious view of unconditional Saussurean arbitrariness of the linguistic sign and the promotion of the concept of phonetic iconism (O.Jespersen, E.Sapir, G.Bonfante, F.Kainz, E.Coseriu, M.Wandruszka, R.Jakobson, S.Ullmann, A.Martinet, M.Grammont, M.Chastaing, I.Fonagy, B.Malmberg, G.Genette, В.В.Левицкий, R.Wescott, P.K.Aggarwal);
  3. Experimental psycholinguistic research into synaesthesia of graphemes and sounds in various languages (E.Sapir, D.Uznadze, S.Newmen, W.Kohler, I.K.Taylor, J.H.Weiss, J.-M.Peterfalvi, L.E.Marks, A.P.Zhuravlev, L.P.Prokofyeva);
  4. Experimental research into grapheme-colour synaesthesia (H.L.Hollingworth, V.Weischer, М.Asano, К.Yokosawa, G.Beeli, М.Esslen, L.Jäncke, C.D.Blair, M.E.Berryhill, D.Brang, R.Rouw, V.S.Ramachandran, S.Coulson, S.Day, C.B.Mills, S.R.Metzger, C.A.Foster, M.N.Valentine-Gresko, S.Ricketts, M. R.Watson, K.A.Akins, J.T.Enns);
  5. Biolinguistics (D.J. Linden, A.H.Chisholm, W.H.Thorpe, P.J.B.Slater, Th.A.Sebeok, J.P.Scanlan, I.M.Pepperberg, D.K.Patterson, I.M.Pepperberg, P.Marler, P.Lieberman, V.D.Ilyitchev, Y.A.Soprokin, E.N.Panov, O.L.Silayeva, V.P.Morozov, V.S.Shevyakov) – the study of human-animal communication, justifying the onomatopoeic theory of the origin of language [Силаева 1998];
  6. The problem of the origin and evolution of language (A.Carstairs-McCarthy, J.L.Dessalles, J.R.Hurford, P.MacNeilage, Oudeyer Pierre-Yves, Ruhlen Merritt);
  7. Phonosemantic lexicography (X.Amanuma, R.D’Elia, Т.Fujita, Т.Gomi, Н.Kakehi, М.Leiris, М.Magnus, Р.Miles, H.Newman, М.Sadasivam, N.Thun, M.Dewson, C.Whissel) etc.

The avenues of research most actively pursued by Russian linguists are:

  1. Justifying phonosemantics as a separate discipline, defining its categories, laws, and characteristics [Воронин 1982];
  2. Uncovering phonosemantic universals in sound symbolism and onomatopoeia across different language families (V.M. Illitch-Svitytch, A.M.Gazov-Ginzberg, S.V.Voronin, A.B.Mikhalev, S.S.Shlyakhova, O.V.Shestakova, N.V.Drozhaschikh, L.P.Prokofyeva, Y.B.Trofimova, T.M.Rogozhnikova);
  3. Justifying the iconic theory of the origin of language (A.M.Gazov-Ginzberg, S.V.Voronin, A.B.Mikhalyov, N.V.Drozhaschikh, S.S.Shlyakhova);
  4. Justifying the proto-conceptual iconic sphere of language: the phonosemantic field theory [Михалёв 1995, 2009], the iconic sphere of language [Дрожащих 2006], the phonosematic world-image [Шляхова 2005];
  5. The occasional phonologisation of noises in multi-structural languages and the manifestations of iconism in psycholinguistic experiments [Трофимова 2009, 2011];
  6. The consistency of onomatopoeia, interjections, vocal gestures, zaum, (delirium- or trance-induced texts, transrational languages of Russian Futurist, OBERIU, and Post-Modernist poets, children’s quasi-languages, etc.), and its basic role in the origin and evolution of language [Шляхова 2005; Кустова 2010; Шаронов 2008];
  7. Lexicographic recording of phonosemantic words [Шляхова 2004, 2011; Шаронов 2005, 2008; Шестакова 2012];
    Auditory-chromatic associativity (grapheme-colour synaesthesia) [Журавлев 1974; Прокофьева 2007; Шляхова 2014; Рогожникова 2011, 2012, 2013];
  8. Developing the software for phonosemantic analysis of the English, Russian (V.Shalak, L.P.Prokofyeva, T.M.Rogozhnikova), Tatar and Bashkir (T.M.Rogozhnikova) and other languages.

Currently there are established scientific schools and academic centres in Russia and internationally that have no scientific links. In Russia there are several centres of research into linguistic iconism (see Appendix 2), but the Academia does not view them as proper scientific schools, despite the continuity, systemacity, and multiplicity of research into linguistic iconism conducted there.

In western Academia, numerous bibliographic lists (see Appendix 3) have been compiled without any Slavic-language input, indicating that Slavic-language phonosemantics is isolated from the context of international scholarship, and that Russian scientific schools suffer from inadequate presentation and promotion, including on the Internet.

The most complete bibliographic list of available works and websites on phonosemanticity S.V.Voronin, V.V.Levitskiy, A.P.Zhuravlev, B.M.Galeyev, S.V.Klimova, A.B.Mikhalyov, S.S.Shlyakhova, L.P.Prokofyeva et al.) that are hard-to-access yet clearly in demand by Western scholars.

4. Problems in linguistic iconism studies

Reviewing the available literature on the subject reveals many works on phonosemanticity and allows one to single out the following problems in linguistic iconism studies:

  1. Many linguists reject the idea of motivation of the linguistic sign and the significance of primary motivation in the origin, evolution, and present-day functioning of language;
  2. Lack of definitive works on phonosemanticity in different languages;
  3. Absence of terminological coordination and societies and websites involved in summing up the findings, which makes it impossible to correlate identical pieces of research and their findings;
  4. The Russian-language studies are carried out without taking into account Western achievements in the sphere; Russian and international researchers oblivious of each other’s works (similarly owing to the lack of dedicated Internet resource);
  5. Lexicographic challenges: absence or lack of specialised dictionaries of different languages; insufficient and unsystematic recording and etymological analysis of phonosemantic words; fuzzy labelling; absence of criteria for comparison in bilingual dictionaries;
  6. Bias towards research in various forms of synaesthesia, including its interpretation in language (sound symbolism), and lack of research in onomatopoeia, interjections, vocal gestures, etc.

In terms of organisation and supply of information, one should stress the following key problems:

  1. Lack of Russian-language professional associations;
  2. Small circulation of specialised literature on the subject, which is hard to obtain even for Russian researchers, not to mention their Western colleagues;
  3. Illegal distribution of Russian-language studies bypassing the authors and violating their rights;
  4. Weak scientific ties between researchers in linguistic iconism both domestically and internationally (see Appendix 1).


5. Online scholarly resources

There are numerous specialised websites in the West, presenting the findings of local scholars
(see Appendix 4). The analysis of their content helped identity the following challenges:

  1. There are no websites in Russia that offer research citing a wide range of other specialised resources. For example, there are at least three websites on synaesthesia hosted in Russia: one by A.Sidorova-Dorso, one by the Prometey Joint Scientific Research Institute, and one by L.P.Prokofyeva. Each project features the original avenue of research and methodology adopted by that particular researcher or a group, sometimes failing to provide horizontal links. It would be better to coordinate these efforts within a single website that could offer the most complete picture of the state of research on each particular problem.
  2. Russian and international websites on linguistic iconism are presenting individual aspects and avenues of research into the subject, mainly in synaesthesia and phonosemantics, whereas researchers worldwide should focus their efforts on creating a single website that would reference other resources.
  3. Most websites are user-, not researcher-oriented. Some are visibly heavy on the marketing side. For example, the American Synaesthesia Association website offers membership to individuals aged above 18 who are willing to fill out the form and pay an annual fee of at least $50, with life membership costing $5 000. Also, member organisations enjoy tax rebates on distribution and popularisation of materials on synaesthesia.
  4. Western-based scholars also have no consolidated websites even within their countries, and are running websites representing individual researchers or university centres instead. Enjoying the greatest degree of consolidation are the centres of research into synaesthesia: the American (S. Day), Australian (P.Higgs), British (S. Baron-Cohen), Belgian(H. Heyrman), Chinese (J. Simner), French (V. Burela, I. Schönenberger), Italian (C. Santoli), Dutch (C. van Campan), Japanese (Nobuyosi N.), German (H.M. Emrich) and other synaesthesia associations.
  5. A substantial amount of consolidated information on research into linguistic motivation is available on M.Magnus’s personal website that offers an extensive list of books, websites, and email addresses of association members, as well as unabridged versions of many of the English-language works, etc. However, following the death of the owner, the website is no longer maintained, with many of the links no longer working.

6. Problems of online representation
Analysing websites dedicated to the problems of linguistic iconism reveals the following problem areas:

  1. Absence of Russian- and Slavic-language professional communities and their representation online;
  2. Absence of consolidated specialised websites in Russia and internationally;
  3. Illegal distribution of Russian-language studies bypassing the authors and violating their rights.

7. Possible solutions
The most effective way of solving the aforementioned problems is to create a specialised website. There is a project, complete with the concept and the content, developed by a group of researchers from Perm aiming to organise long-term international cooperation in the field of information and scientific activities
(see Appendix 5).

Its main goal is to unite the efforts in studying linguistic iconism in different languages and to disseminate reliable scientific knowledge in phonosemantics and related sciences in Russia and internationally.

Its methodology is based on the principle of genetic non-arbitrariness, motivation of the linguistic sign: ‘Saussure’s unitary principle that “the linguistic sign is arbitrary” has exhausted its potential as a universal basic principle… superseded by a new, binary principle that “the linguistic sign is both non-arbitrary and arbitrary” at the same time.’ [Воронин 1999: 130]

The link between the sound-form and the meaning of a word is lost in the process of semantic and phonetic evolution: the linguistic sign is no longer motivated, it acquires new meanings unrelated to its sound-form. Originally non-arbitrary, the motivated sign becomes arbitrary, non-motivated.

The project’s principles state that it must be

  1. Scientifically competent,
  2. Open to the public free of charge,
  3. Used only for personal, informational, scientific, educational, or cultural non-profit purposes,
  4. Upholding its contributors’ copyright, hosting their works strictly with their permission, free of charge,
  5. Consistent in publishing the materials in accordance with its editorial classification and the system of horizontal links,
  6. Up-to-date, interactive, and open to feedback.

The project is timely as it:

  1. Organises and widens international contacts, organises information and scientific activities in linguistic iconism studies;
  2. Disseminates reliable scientific knowledge in phonosemantics;
  3. Creates the most comprehensive, accurate and accessible permanent scholarly resource on phonosemantics;
  4. Creates a joined multinational scientific product;
  5. Integrates Russian-language research into the international scientific context,
  6. Can increase citation index figures.

The project is novel as it

  1. Presents an original scientific and informational online resource on linguistic iconism;
  2. Results in a joined international scientific product, basic multi-aspect phonosemantic electronic dictionaries;
  3. Lays the foundation for a breakthrough large-scale electronic database of phonosemantic means in various world languages;
  4. Establishes a dedicated scientific journal.

This Linguistic Motivation Forum website will consist of two modules:

I. The information module, comprising the following sections: History of Phonosemantics, Faces of Phonosemantics, Library, Phonosemantic schools and centres, Bibliography, Reviews, Photos, Conferences, Affiliated websites, Links, ‘Folk Phonosemantics’, etc.
1. The Library

  • Contains an up-to-date all-inclusive publicly available body of materials (studies, dissertations, articles, dictionaries, reviews, etc., including rare ones) on linguistic motivation by Russian- and Slavic-speaking (Polish, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Udmurt, Komi-Permyak, English, and other languages) researchers; already having secured the permission of authors of some 450 works;
  • Makes use of the electronic format to 1) extend the range of materials from traditional works (articles, studies, dissertations, etc.) to abstracts, reviews, informal documents, working papers, handwritten wordlists, etc.; 2) extend documents semantics by incorporating text, images, video, databases, external links, etc.; 3) provide access to small circulation and rare materials; 4) facilitate popularisation of Russian scientific achievements internationally.

2. The Bibliography will include reference lists grouped by: the language of the study; the subject language; the problems and aspects of the study; author’s name.

II. The research module will comprise a specialised scientific journal and an online laboratory.

1. The online vocabulary lab will

  • Gather, arrange, and accumulate empirical data to create a large-scale updatable phonosemanticity corpus;
  • Work to produce a regularly updated Universal Electronic Phonosemantic Dictionary, already including various multi-aspect dictionaries: Electronic Dictionary of Phonosemantic Words (Pre-Slavic, Polish, Russian, German, Bulgarian, Czech, Belorussian, Lithuanian, Serbo-Croatian, Greek, Komi-Permyak, etc.); Electronic Dictionary of Initials (Greek, German, Spanish); Electronic Dictionary of Phonaesthemes (German, Russian, English, Arabic, Spanish); Electronic Graphosemantic Dictionary.

2. The online terminology lab will

  • Conduct online discussions to determine a unified terminology for phonosemantics;
  • Record the unified terminology in the Electronic Dictionary of Phonosemantic Terms, to include the terms biolinguistics, iconism, iconic sphere of language, sound poetry, vocal gestures, phonosemantic field, phonosemantics, sound symbolism, audio-chromatic associativity, synaesthesia, phonaestheme, interjection, onomatopoeia, phonotype, ideophone, etc.

3. The online phonosemantic experimental lab will

  • Consult young (graduate and undergraduate students) and newcomer researchers on theoretical questions and research tools;
  • Encompass avenues of research such as 1) Synaesthesia. Grapheme-colour synaesthesia (auditory-chromatic associativity); 2) Universal typology of onomatopes; 3) Phonosemantic field theory; 4) Phonosemantic world-image; 5) Etymology and phonosemantics; 6) Phonosemantics and poetry;
  • Each avenue is to include sub-sections: Tools, Completed Studies, Consulting, New Materials;
  • Bind each author that made use of the materials, tools, or consulted with the project’s specialists to publish their research on the website.

4. The dedicated scientific online journal:

  • A specialist journal for a new academic field;
  • Interdisciplinary (spanning linguistics, psycholinguistics, and psychology);
  • With a rigorous peer review mechanism, given the fact that phonosemantic studies published elsewhere do not enjoy serious editorial review (due to little or no access to experts in linguistic motivation);

To facilitate access by international users the website’s main materials will also be available in English, with the rest of the authors providing English-language abstracts.

The future website openness to the public will to some extent solve the problem of illegal commercial distribution of copyrighted works.

So far, about 50 scholars from eight countries have expressed their willingness to participate in the project: Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Moldova, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Russia. They are leading specialists in linguistic iconism (30 doctoral and 15 post-doctoral level) from 45 universities and 5 institution of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Developing the contents of the future website is 90% complete; the project team is currently looking for funding to commence website construction. For more details and to offer cooperation, please contact us at shlyahova@mail.ru

8. Conclusions

Reviewing the main problems of linguistic iconism studies, analysing the existing online resources on the subject, and analysing the degree of online presence and promotion of this sphere of academic studies, revealed that

  1. Many linguists reject the idea of motivation of the linguistic sign and the significance of primary motivation in the origin, evolution, and present-day functioning of language, leading to a scarcity of basic research in linguistic iconism;
  2. In Russia there are several established scientific schools and centres (in St. Petersburg, Pyatigorsk, Biysk, Perm, Saratov, and Ufa) devoted to the problems of linguistic iconism;
  3. Modern linguistic iconism theories in the Russian scholarship contend that the linguistic sign is non-arbitrary and motivated, reinvigorating the iconic theory of the origin of the language, modelling the proto-conceptual iconic language space, and fuelling software developments aimed at phonosemantic and colour and graphical analysis of language;
  4. Absence of professional Russian-language communities and specialised websites, weak horizontal links between Russian and international researchers, small circulation of specialised literature and its poor availability are impeding the research into linguistic iconism, including its comparative studies aspect.

At this juncture, the strategic goal is to create a universal information environment (an international interactive website) for joined academic, educational, and innovative efforts in studying linguistic iconism.

9. References

  1. Agrawal P.K. A New Approach to Phonosemantics // International Journal of Linguistics 2014, Vol. 6, No.1. 107-131. URL:  http://macrothink.org/journal/index.php/ijl/issue/view/266 (14.12.2014).
  2. Genette G. Mimologiques. Voyage en Cratyle. Paris: Ed. du Seuil, 1976. 289.
  3. Magnus M. What”s in a word: Study of phonosemantics, NTNU. 2001. URL:  http://www.trismegistos.com/dissertation/ (14.12.2014).
  4. Voronin V.S. Osnovy fonosemantiki. L.: Izd-vo Leningradskogo un-ta, 1982. 248 р.
  5. Voronin V.S. Fonosemanticheskie idei v zarubezhnom jazykoznanii. L.: Izd-vo Leningradskogo un-ta, 1990. 200 p.
  6. Voronin S.V. Znak ne-proizvolen i proizvolen: novyj princip na smenu principu Sossjura // Aktual'nye problemy psihologii, jetnopsiholingvistiki i foiosemantiki: Materialy Vserossijskoj konferencii (Penza, 8-11 dekabrja 1999 g.). M.; Penza: Institut psihologii i Institut jazykoznanija RAN; PGPU im. V.G.Belinskogo, 1999. P. 128-130.
  7. Zhuravlev A.P. Foneticheskoe znachenie. L.: LGU. 1974. 160 p.
  8. Koleva-Zlateva Zh. S. Slavjanskaja leksika zvukosimvolicheskogo proishozhdenija. Tractata Slavica Universitatis Debreceniensis. Vol. 1. Debrecen, 2008. 355 p.
  9. Kustova E.Ju. Francuzskoe mezhdometie: leksiko-grammaticheskie aspekty, semiogenez i interakcional'nye funkcii: avtoref. diss. na soiskanie uch. st. doktora filologicheskih nauk. Voronezh, 2010. 42 p. URL:  http://test.vak.ed.gov.ru/common/img/uploaded/files/vak/announcements/filolog/2009/30-11/KustovoyEU.pdf  (4.12.2014).
  10. Levickij V.V. Zvukovoj simvolizm. Osnovnye itogi (Sound Symbolism. Main Results). Chernovcy, 1998. 130 p.
  11. Mihaljov A.B. Teorija fonosemanticheskogo polja. Pjatigorsk, 1995. URL: http://amikhalev.ru/?page_id=134 (14.12.2014).
  12. Mihaljov A.B. Fonosemantika i jazykovaja kartina mira // Jazykovoe bytie cheloveka i jetnosa: kognitivnyj i psiholingvisticheskij aspekty. Materialy Mezhdunarodnoj shkoly-seminara (Berezinskie chtenija). Vyp.15. M.: INION RAN, MGLU, 2009. P.133-140. URL: http://amikhalev.ru/?page_id=263 (14.12.2014).
  13. Prokof'eva L.P. Zvuko-cvetovaja associativnost': universal'noe, nacional'noe, individual'noe. Saratov, 2007. 280 p.
  14. Rogozhnikova T.M.  Vnutrennjaja forma i ee associativnaja cvetnost' // Vserossijskaja Internet-konferencija «Jazykovaja dejstvitel'nost' i dejstvitel'nost' jazyka», posvjashhennaja pamjati doktora filologicheskih nauk, professora Travkinoj Al'biny Dmitrievny. Tver', 2013. URL: http://rgf.tversu.ru/sites/default/files/doc-files/Rogozhnikova-2013.pdf  (14.12.2014).
  15. Rogozhnikova T.M. Jetnokul'turnaja specifika cvetovoj associativnosti zvukov bashkirskogo i tatarskogo jazykov // Russkojazychie i bi(poli)lingvizm v mezhkul'turnoj kommunikacii XXI veka: kognitivno-konceptual'nye aspekty: Materialy IV Mezhdunarodnoj nauchno-metodicheskoj konferencii. Pjatigorsk: Izd-vo Pjatigorskogo gos. lingv. un-ta, 2011. P. 51–55.
  16. Rogozhnikova T.M., Kochetova G.R. Associativnaja cvetnost' zvukov bashkirskogo i tatarskogo jazykov // Vestnik Bashkirskogo universiteta. Ufa: Izd-vo  BashGU,  2012, Tom 17, № 3 (Filologija i iskusstvovedenie). P. 1313-1320.
  17. Silaeva O.L. Social'no-jekologicheskie i biolingvisticheskie aspekty zvukovyh imitacij ptic: diss. na soiskanie uch. st. doktora biologicheskih nauk. M., 1998. 278 p.
  18. Sossjur F. de. Trudy po jazykoznaniju. M.: Progress, 1977. 695 p.
  19. Trofimova E.B. Okkazional'naja verbalizacija zvukovyh i zritel'nyh signalov raznojazychnymi nositeljami /E.B. Trofimova, M.Je. Sergeeva, E.Ju. Filippova. M.: Krasand, 2009. 168 p.
  20. Trofimova E.B. Uzual'noe i okkazional'noe semioticheskoe prostranstvo jemocij / E.B. Trofimova, U.M. Trofimova, M.Je. Sergeeva, M.S. Vlasov, E.Ju. Filippova, T. Odonchimjeg. Ulan-Bator-Bijsk: Sojombo-printing, 2011. 292 p.
  21. Trofimova E.B., Trofimova U.M. Projavlenie ikonizma v uslovijah psiholingvisticheskogo jeksperimenta // Jazykovoe bytie cheloveka i jetnosa: kognitivnyj i psiholingvisticheskij aspekty: Materialy Mezhdunarodnoj shkoly-seminara (VII Berezinskie chtenija). Vyp. 18. M.: INION RAN, ASOU, 2011. P. 286-293.
  22. Sharonov I.A.  A i AGA. Problemy opisanija kognitivnyh mezhdometij // Ponimanie v kommunikacii:  Tezisy dokladov Mezhdunarodnoj nauchnoj konferencii (28 fevralja – 1 marta 2005 g., Moskva). M., 2005. P. 100-101.
  23. Sharonov I.A. Tolkovanie jemocional'nyh mezhdometij cherez komponenty vneshnego mira // Tret'ja mezhdunarodnaja konferencija po kognitivnym naukam. M., 2008. T. 2. P. 495-496.
  24. Sharonov I.A.. Mezhdometija v rechi, tekste i slovare. M. 2008. 296 p.
  25. Shestakova O. V. Fonosemanticheskie principy sopostavlenija onomatopej v leksikograficheskom diskurse // Russkij jazyk i literatura v polikul'turnom kommunikativnom prostranstve: materialy mezhdunar. nauch. konf. 26–28 aprelja 2012: v 2 ch. Ch. 2. Pskov: Izd-vo Pskov. gos. un-ta, 2012. P. 45-51.
  26. Shljahova S.S. Ten' smysla v zvuke: Vvedenie v russkuju fonosemantiku. Perm. gos. ped. un-t. Perm', 2003. 216 p.
  27. Shljahova S.S. «Drebezgi» jazyka: Slovar' russkih fonosemanticheskih anomalij. Perm. gos. ped. un-t. Perm', 2004. 225 p.
  28. Shljahova S.S. «Drugoj» jazyk: opyt marginal'noj lingvistiki. Perm. gos. tehn. un-t. Perm', 2005. 350 p.
  29. Shljahova S. S., Shestakova O. V. Nemeckaja onomatopeja: istorija izuchenija, problemy, nemecko-russkij slovar'. Deutsche Onomatopoetika: Forschungsgeschichte, Probleme, deutsch-russisches Wörterbuch: monografija. Perm': Izd-vo Perm. nac. issled. politehn. un-ta, 2011. 289 p.
  30. Shljahova S. S., Shestakova O. V. Problemy leksikograficheskoj fiksacii inter#ektivov v russkih i nemeckih slovarjah // Vestnik Cheljabinskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Filologija. Iskusstvovedenie. 2011. Vyp. 60, № 33 (248). P. 213–215. URL: http://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=17799043 (14.12.2014).
  31. Shljahova S.S. Zvuko-cvetovaja associativnost' v komi-permjackom jazyke (glasnye) // Socio- i psiholingvisticheskie issledovanija. 2014. Vyp. 2. P. 108-114. http://splr.psu.ru/?page_id=400 http://splr.psu.ru/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Shljahova2014.pdf (14.12.2014).

10. Appendices

Appendix 1. Problems in coordinating linguistic iconism research

  • The fallout of Ferdinand de Saussure’s principle of the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign is such that research into linguistic iconism is marginal and non-systemic; defending a thesis on the subject means having to overcome certain obstacles, academic papers on the subject are of low-quality. When in 1998 M. Magnus tried to establish a Linguistic Iconism Association in the USA, many researchers, she recalled, refused her invitation or preferred to keep their membership secret because of the ‘pseudoscientific’ nature of the subject. According to prof. A.B. Mikhalyov, when in 2013 he tried submitting a paper on phonosemantics to one of the western academic journals, it was turned down saying they had no experts to review a work in that field.
  • Absence of terminological coordination and societies and websites involved in summing up the findings makes it impossible to correlate identical pieces of research and their findings. For example, one specialist turned down an invitation to take part in a research project saying he was not studying linguistic motivation, only interjections and vocal gestures. Another argued reduplication has nothing to do with linguistic iconism (when it is, in fact, one of its most reliable indicators).
  • Weak (strictly private and one-of-a-kind) scientific ties between researchers in linguistic iconism across national boundaries, but also within the country. For example, two St. Petersburg-based researchers, being aware of each other’s work, had no idea they both lived in the same city.
  • Western scholars know little of Russian studies on the subject. For example, in its http://synaesthesia.com/en/Science2/scientists/ section on the scientists researching synaesthesia, Marc Jacques Mächler’s website fails to list a single Russian researcher. Similarly, A New Approach to Phonosemantics, one of the latest articles by P.K. Agrawal, makes no mention of Russian scientists [Agrawal 2014].

Appendix 2. Russian phonosemantics schools and centres. Main avenues of research

Biysk phonosemantics school: Anthropocentric typology of languages lab (headed by prof. Y.B.Trofimova): manifestations of iconism in psycholinguistic experiments; iconic theory of the origin of the language; research into occasional verbalisation and perception of signals of diverse nature by Russian, English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Altaic speakers; comparative studies aimed at revealing the iconic character of onomatopoeic words and interjections in Russian, Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, and Mongolian.

Moscow environmental biolinguistics school (founded by prof. V.D.Ilyitchev, headed by prof. O.L.Silayeva): human-animal communication; iconic theory of the origin of the language (language is originally based on natural sounds, animal and bird signals); discovered of the global acoustic-imitative process inherent in every human and animal communications system.

St. Petersburg phonosemantics school (founded by prof. S.V.Voronin): justifying phonosemantics as a separate discipline, defined its categories, laws, and characteristics; modelled the phonosemantic system of language; researched into phonosemantic etymology, universal typology of onomatopes, iconic theory of the origin of the language; substantiated the dual arbitrary/non-arbitrary nature of the linguistic sign; developed the methodology of phonosemantic analysis; identified the objective criteria of a phonosemantic word; defined the basic laws of the origin and evolution of the language sign; singled out the phonotype as the basic category of phonosemantics; introduced and defined the nature of synkinaesthemia as the basis of phonosemanticity.

Pyatigorsk phonosemantics school (headed by prof. A.B.Mikhalyov): phonosemantic field theory; phonosemantic etymology; justifying the proto-conceptual iconic sphere of language; iconic theory of the origin of the language; researching phonosemanticity of morphemotypes, phonaesthemes, initials, and finals.

Perm phonosemantics circle (headed by prof. S.S.Shlyakhova): justifying the proto-conceptual iconic sphere of language (phonosemantic world-image); marginal linguistics; iconic theory of the origin of the language; researching phonosemanticity of the Komi-Permyak language; modelling the phonosemantic system of language; universal typology of onomatopes (Russian, German); phonosemantic etymology; systemacity, universality, and ideoethnicity of onomatopoeia (Russian, German, Komi-Permyak); phonosemantic lexicography (Russian, German, Komi-Permyak); phonosemantics of dialects; experimental research into phonetic meaning and grapheme-colour synaesthesia (Komi-Permyak).

Saratov psycholinguistics school (founded by prof. I.N.Gorelov, headed by prof. L.P.Prokofyeva): substantiating the primary motivation of the linguistic sign theory; experimental psycholinguistic research into phonosemanticity; grapheme-colour synaesthesia, auditory-chromatic associativity (Russian and English); developing the software for analysing auditory-chromatic associativity of prose, poetry, and theatre plays (Russian and English).

Ufa psycholinguistics school (headed by prof. T.M.Rogozhnikova): experimental psycholinguistic research into phonosemanticity; grapheme-colour synaesthesia, auditory-chromatic associativity (Russian, English, Tatar, Bashkir); developing the software for analysing auditory-chromatic associativity of texts (Russian, English, Tatar, Bashkir).

Appendix 3. Bibliography on problems of linguistic iconism

Appendix 4. Websites on linguistic iconism research

Personal websites of researchers

Websites of professional associations and university research centres:

Social network communities:

  • Synaesthesia.com - a colourful awareness https://www.facebook.com/pages/Synaesthesiacom-a-colourful-awareness/623208771054393 et al.

Appendix 5. Structure of the Linguistic Motivation Forum interactive information and research website

Title page

About the Forum



Usage policy

Publication policy


Site map

History of Phonosemantics

  • Russia
  • USA
  • Europe
  • Researching phonosemanticity in various languages


Phonosemantic schools and centres

  • Russia: Biysk phonosemantic school
  • Russia: Moscow environmental biolinguistics school
  • Russia: Perm phonosemantics circle
  • Russia: Pyatigorsk phonosemantics school
  • Russia: St.Petersburg phonosemantics school
  • Russia: Saratov psycholinguistics school
  • Russia: Ufa psycholinguistics school
  • Ukraine: Chernivtsi phonosemantics school


  • Archive
  • Studies
  • Post-doctorate dissertations
  • Ph.D. dissertations
  • Articles and theses
  • Specialty courses and workshops
  • Digests
  • Working papers


  • Abstracts
  • Dissertations
  • Studies
  • Articles

Bibliography (grouped by)

  • Language of the study
  • Subject language (Russian, Polish, English, Kazakh, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Bulgarian, etc.)
  • Problems (biolinguistics, non-classic phonetics, onomatopoeia, sound symbolism, reduplication, phonosemantics and etymology, interjections, phonostylistics and poetry, phonosemantics and translation, phonosemantic world-image, phonosemantics and education methods, phonosemantics and marketing, etc.)
  • Author’s name

Faces of Phonosemantics

In Memoriam

  • Voronin Stanislav Vasilyevitch
  • Galeyev Bulat Makhmudovitch
  • Gorelov Ilya Naumovitch
  • Ilyitchev Valeriy Dmitriyevitch
  • Levitskiy Viktor Vasilyevitch


  • Abayev V.I.
  • Aksakov K.S.
  • Ashmarin N.I.
  • Bubrikh F.I.
  • Gazov-Ginzberg A.M.
  • Germanovitch A.I.
  • Gretch N.I.
  • Dagurov G.V.
  • Zhuravlev A.P.
  • Futurist and OBERIU zaum writers
  • Zelenetskiy K.P.
  • Members of the Kazan and Moscow linguistic schools
  • Kartsevskiy S.O.
  • Kveselevitch D.I.
    Krivoschyokova-Gantman A.S.
  • Krutchenykh A.E.
  • Lipavskiy L.S.
  • Mandzhikova B.B.
  • Marr N.Y.
  • Members of OPOJAZ and MLK
  • Pavskiy G.P.
  • Polivanov Y.D.
  • Potebnya A.A.
  • Potseluyevskiy A.P.
  • Rizhskiy I.S.
  • Sorokin Y.A.
  • Tarakanov I.V.
  • Tulov M.A.
  • Tufanov A.V.
  • Onomatodoxy in philosophy
  • Frolova O.P.
  • Khlebnikov V.
  • Tsydendambayev T.B.
  • Members of Tchinari
  • Shagdarov L.D.
  • Shishkov A.S.
  • Shklovskiy V.B.
  • Shtern A.S.
  • Yakobson R.O.
  • Yakubinskiy L.P.


Forum members

  • Banko M. (Warsaw, Poland)
  • Bobitchev (Chisinau, Moldova)
  • Boronnikova N.V. (Perm, Russia)
  • Brodovitch O.I. (St.Petersburg, Russia)
  • Vaulina I.A. (Yekaterinburg, Russia)
  • Verizhnikova Y.V. (Moscow, Russia)
  • Vershinina M.G. (Perm, Russia)
  • Vlasov M.S. (Biysk, Russia)
  • Golimbiovskaya Y.S. (Ulyanovsk, Russia)
  • Grishina Y.A. (Moscow, Russia)
  • Daminova R.A. (Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia)
  • Drozhaschikh N.V. (Tyumen, Russia)
  • Yefimenko N.V. (Ufa, Russia)
  • Zur A.I. (Minsk, Belarus)
  • Karpukhin S.A. (Samara, Russia)
  • Klimova S.V. (St.Petersburg, Russia)
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria)
  • Kotchetova G.R. (Kumertau, Russia)
  • Kushnerik V.I. (Chernivtsi, Ukraine)
  • Lobanova A.S. (Perm, Russia)
  • Makulbek A.B. (Shymkent, Kazakhstan)
  • Marukhina S.A. (Yaroslavl, Russia)
  • Matasova O.V. (Saratov, Russia)
  • Mekheda M.I. (Tyumen, Russia)
  • Mikhalyov A.B. (Pyatigorsk, Russia)
  • Netyosina M.S. (Moscow, Russia)
  • Odonchimeg T. (Khovd, Mongolia)
  • Osipova L.F. (Almetyevsk, Russia)
  • Pavlovskaya I.Y. ( St.Petersburg, Russia)
  • Petkova Z.A. (Burgas, Bulgaria)
  • Petukhova Y.V. (Kursk, Russia)
  • Prokofyeva L.P. (Saratov, Russia)
  • Prutskikh T.A. (Irkutsk, Russia)
  • Puzyrev A.V. (Ulyanovsk, Russia)
  • Razumovskaya V.A. (Krasnoyarsk, Russia)
  • Rogozhnikova T.M. (Ufa, Russia)
  • Silayeva O.L. (Moscow, Russia)
  • Sunduyeva Y.V. (Ulan-Ude, Russia)
  • Tatarinova Y.S. (St.Petersburg, Russia)
  • Tishina (Makhinya) Y.V. (Volgograd, Russia)
  • Trofimova Y.B. (Biysk, Russia)
  • Flaksman M.A. (St.Petersburg, Russia)
  • Tchekhovskaya (Dergatchyova) T.L. (Minsk, Belarus)
  • Tchironov S.V. (Moscow, Russia)
  • Shamina Y.A. (Moscow, Russia)
  • Sharonov I.A. (Moscow, Russia)
  • Shestakova O.V. (Perm, Russia)
  • Shibanov A.A. (Izhevsk, Russia)
  • Shlyakhova S.S. (Perm, Russia)
  • Yusip-Yakimovitch Y.V. (Uzhgorod, Ukraine)

Conferences, round tables, workshops

  • Problems of Linguistic Sign Motivation Workshop. Leningrad, 1969.
  • USSR Academy of Sciences Linguistics Institute’s All-Soviet Union Conference on Phonosemantics. Penza, 1989.
  • Contemporary Problems in Psychology, Ethnopsycholinguistics, and Phonosemantics All-Russian Academic Conference. Penza, 1999.
  • The Sign: Icons, Indexes, Symbols International conference dedicated to prof. S.V.Voronin’s 70th anniversary. St. Petersburg, 2005.
  • Modern Phonosemantics workshop at the 10th International Society of Applied Psycholinguistics (ISAPL) Congress. Moscow, 2013.
  • Phonosemantics workshop at the 7th All-Russian Interuniversity Research and Methodology Conference English Studies in the 21st century. St. Petersburg, 2014.
  • St. Petersburg State University Department of Language and Literature’s annual Phonosemantics workshop.

Vocabulary lab



  • Kveselevitch D.I., Sasina V.P. Russian-English dictionary of interjections
  • Shlyakhopva S.S. ‘Language chatter’: Dictionary of Russian phonosemantic anomalies
  • Shlyakhova S.S., Shestakova O.V. Geman-Russian onomatopoeic dictionary

Electronic Dictionary of Phonosemantic Words

  • Banko M. Polish onomatopoeic wordlist
  • Vershinina M.G. Materials for the Russian dialectic phonosemantic dictionary (onomatopoeia)
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Belorussian phonosemantic wordlist
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Bulgarian phonosemantic wordlist
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Upper and Lower Sorbian phonosemantic wordlist
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Russian phonosemantic wordlist
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Serbo-Croatian phonosemantic wordlist
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Slovenian phonosemantic wordlist
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Ukrainian phonosemantic wordlist
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Czech phonosemantic wordlist
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Lithuanian phonosemantic wordlist
  • Koleva-Zlateva J. Greek phonosemantic wordlist
  • Mekheda M.V. Russian reduplicates wordlist
  • Krivoschekova-Gantman A.S. Descriptive words in Komi-Permyak (wordlist)
  • Shvetsova N.N. English dialectal phonosemantic words (articulatory onomatopes) wordlist
  • Shestakova O.V. German and Russian onomatopoeia (wordlist)
  • Shlyakhova S.S. Indo-European root *kes-; *kos-; *ks- in Russian
  • Shlyakhova S.S. Animal sounds in Komi-Permyak
  • Shlyakhova S.S. Komi-Permyak onomatopes
  • Shlyakhova S.S. Call and drive words, animal and bird sounds in Komi-Permyak

Electronic Dictionary of Initials

  • Zimova M.D. Greek Θ-words
  • Zimova M.D. Greek Ψ -words
  • Zimova M.D. German D-words and Modern Greek Δ-words
  • Zimova M.D. German G-words and Modern Greek Г-words
  • Zimova M.D. German L-words and Modern Greek Λ-words
  • Zimova M.D. German R-words and Modern Greek Р-words
  • Zimova M.D. German S-words and Modern Greek Σ-words
  • Zimova M.D. German W-words, Modern Greek Ф-words, German F-words
  • Zimova M.D. German Z-words and Modern Greek Z-words
  • Zimova M.D. German and Modern Greek N-words
  • Zimova M.D. German and Modern Greek B-words
  • Zimova M.D. German and Modern Greek K-words
  • Zimova M.D. German and Modern Greek M-words
  • Zimova M.D. German H-words and Modern Greek X-words
  • Zimova M.D. German P-words and Modern Greek Π-words
  • Zimova M.D. German T-words and Modern Greek Т-words

Electronic dictionary of phonaesthemes

  • Zimova M.D. German SCH-words
  • Mikhalyov A.B. Spirant + labial plosives words (Russian, English, French, Arabic)
  • Shlyakhova S.S. Phonaestheme ШВ in Komi-Permyak

Electronic graphophonosemantic dictionary

  • Shlyakhova S.S. A

Terminology lab

  • Dictionary of phonosemantic terms

Phonosemantic experimental lab

  • Synaesthesia. Auditory-chromatic associativity
  • Onomatopoeia. Universal typology of onomatopes
  • Phonosemantic field theory
  • Phonosemantic world-image
  • Etymology and phonosemantics
  • Phonosemantics and poetry

Problems of Linguistic Motivation online journal


  • Conferences, round tables, workshops
  • Vivas
  • Field studies
  • People and faces
  • Phonosemantic photoquotes

Audio and video

  • Sea sounds. Catalonia
  • Sounds of Moscow
  • Sounds of Barcelona
  • Con-classical phonetics in music texts

Folk phonosemantics

  • Phonosemantic jokes
  • Phonosemantic caricatures
  • Living the Boom! life
  • Living the Ouch! life

Interesting facts

  • Journey inside the sound
  • Sound-art
  • Sound visualisation

Affiliated websites

  • In Russian
  • In other languages

Useful links

  • In Russian
  • In other languages


скачать dle 10.2 Авто Тюнинг кузова