We are happy to announce a talk by Kathryn Barnes (Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium.

The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301.

Title: Ideophones as iconic mixed items

Date: May 25, 2023

Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct


This talk outlines a semantic analysis of ideophones in German, such as plitsch platsch and holteridpolter, as iconic mixed items, combining both arbitrary descriptive meaning and iconic depictive meaning. These ideophones are therefore similar to expressive mixed items, such as cur or Köter, which combine at-issue descriptive and non-at-issue expressive meaning. The at-issue status of the two meaning components in ideophones can, however, vary according to various factors, as outlined in Barnes et al. (2022).  This analysis builds on the experimental work conducted by Barnes et al. (2022) on the at-issue status of sentence-medial adverbial ideophones in German, which showed that such ideophones were default non-at-issue, and provides an account for how said factors influence the at-issue status of ideophones. This iconic mixed items analysis could in future be applied to other combinations of arbitrary descriptive and iconic depictive meaning, such as in quotations, as well as classifier predicates and socalled “Spezialgebärden” or “idiomatic signs” in sign languages.