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Sound Patterns and Meaning in Catalan Poetry: A Literature Review on Cognitive Poetics and Sound Symbolism Accompanied by a Preliminary Study

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dc.contributor.advisor Napoli, Donna Jo, 1948- Clymer, Micaya 2013-07-23T19:36:09Z 2013-07-23T19:36:09Z 2008
dc.description.abstract For native English speakers, front vowels are associated with the concepts of smallness or brightness; think of 'ping'. On the other hand, back vowels are associated with large size and darkness; think of 'bong'. These associations appear to be shared by native Spanish speakers (Becker & Fisher, 1988). Other examples of documented sound-meaning associations in English include the menacing or hard nature of the Irl sound and the calming or hushing quality of lsi and If! (Tsur, 1992). Poetry, at once condensed and emotionally evocative, provides an interesting context in which to study the associations between sound and meaning, especially as the goal of a poet is often to elicit specific emotional responses in the reader. This study will focus on Catalan, whose poetry and language have been less studied than other Romance languages due to hundreds of years of political domination and, more recently, the anti-Catalan language policies in Francoist Spain that effectively illegalized public use of the language. Despite these policies, many poets continued to write during the post-Civil War period. This study will focus on three of these authors: Carlos Riba, J V Foix, and Pere Quart. These poets were selected because their poetry careers extended from before the Civil War into the immediate postwar period, when all three of them changed their styles dramatically to reflect and write about the defeat and subjugation of Cata1unya (Rosenthal, 1991). Because the postwar poems have a different emotional character, I hypothesized that they would also exhibit different sound pattems. To that end, the first part of this paper will be a review of research and theories in sound symbolism and cognitive poetics. After a brief summary of the linguistic and political history of Cata1unya, I shall analyze poems by each author from the pre- and postwar periods for prevalence of front and back vowels and distribution of hard (occlusives) and soft (fricatives, liquids, etc) consonants. The purpose of this paper is to present an initial analysis of sound symbolism in Catalan poetry with the goal of deciding whether future research is warranted. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Swarthmore College. Dept. of Linguistics en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
dc.title Sound Patterns and Meaning in Catalan Poetry: A Literature Review on Cognitive Poetics and Sound Symbolism Accompanied by a Preliminary Study en_US
dc.type Thesis (B.A.)

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