This paper describes on-going research by the author into the phonological structure of morphologically complex lexical and phraseological items in English. Specifically, it deals with cases of alliteration and rhyme in lexicalized, or otherwise institutionalized, units of language. Its point of departure is the comment by Jakobson and Waugh (The Sound Shape of Language) that ‘... the same consonances [meaningful pairs of rhyming or alliterative words] exist, somewhat deadened and hidden, in our ordinary speech’. Two of these authors’ examples are ‘through thick and thin’ and ‘sky-high’; some further examples are ‘plain as a pikestaff’, ‘first and foremost’, ‘culture vulture’ and ‘lager lout’. In contrast to phrases such as these, there are those which are, presumably, merely the outcome of random probability; one may presume, for example, that ‘the social services’ is a case of ‘accidental alliteration’, to use Markus’s (2005) wording. The present paper reports on the anaylsis of several hundred lexical items, and explores how and to what extent it is possible to surmise or state that sound repetition is motivated. Various factors have been taken into consideration during analysis, including documentation regarding their origins and history (on-line OED and other sources), internal semantic make-up, and the uses, outside of the given phrases/compounds, of one or more of the key lexical items (OED and corpus-based investigation).

The search for rhyme and alliteration in the lexis of modern English, with specific reference to noun phrases

COFFEY, STEPHEN JAMES
2013

Abstract

This paper describes on-going research by the author into the phonological structure of morphologically complex lexical and phraseological items in English. Specifically, it deals with cases of alliteration and rhyme in lexicalized, or otherwise institutionalized, units of language. Its point of departure is the comment by Jakobson and Waugh (The Sound Shape of Language) that ‘... the same consonances [meaningful pairs of rhyming or alliterative words] exist, somewhat deadened and hidden, in our ordinary speech’. Two of these authors’ examples are ‘through thick and thin’ and ‘sky-high’; some further examples are ‘plain as a pikestaff’, ‘first and foremost’, ‘culture vulture’ and ‘lager lout’. In contrast to phrases such as these, there are those which are, presumably, merely the outcome of random probability; one may presume, for example, that ‘the social services’ is a case of ‘accidental alliteration’, to use Markus’s (2005) wording. The present paper reports on the anaylsis of several hundred lexical items, and explores how and to what extent it is possible to surmise or state that sound repetition is motivated. Various factors have been taken into consideration during analysis, including documentation regarding their origins and history (on-line OED and other sources), internal semantic make-up, and the uses, outside of the given phrases/compounds, of one or more of the key lexical items (OED and corpus-based investigation).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/231010
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