Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Lee Bickmore


Ideophones are a class of words which occur in many languages throughout the world, but are relatively uncommon in English. Though often mimetic, ideophones are not to be confused with onomatopoeia since they extend well beyond the narrow scope of sound only symbolism. In the past, ideophones have been difficult for linguists to categorize and understand due to their limited usage in many of their native European languages. These words are marked due to their divergent phonology, morphology, syntax, or all of the above. Ideophones often vividly depict one or more sensory events, ranging from sight to emotion. This paper will discuss this class of words as they appear in Manyika Shona, a dialect of Shona spoken in Eastern Zimbabwe by about 1,025,000 people.

Included in

Linguistics Commons