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‘Iconicity of Distance’ and nouns: when syntactic proximity to the noun mirrors semantic closeness

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Jan Rijkhoff - Lecturer

Almost a century ago, the German linguist Otto Behaghel already noted that what belongs together mentally is also placed close together in an utterance (Das oberste Gesetz ist dieses, daß das geistig eng Zusammengehörige auch eng zusammengestellt wird).
Iconicity of Distance (when the distance between linguistic forms & expressions corresponds to the conceptual distance between them; Haiman 1980, 1983) is now widely recognized as a universal principle underlying language structure.
In this talk I will argue that Iconicity of Distance offers a coherent and convincing explanation for minimally three global ordering phenomena (all involving nouns) in natural human language.
18 Nov 2022


NameSchool of Communication and Culture - Linguistics
Date01/01/1990 → …
LocationJens Chr. Skous Vej 2
CityAarhus C

ID: 291566200