When phonetics matters: creation and perception of female images in song folklore

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This paper presents a stylistic analysis of female images in American song folklore in order to examine how sound symbolic language elements contribute to the construction of verbal images. The results obtained show the link between sound and meaning and how such phonetic means of stylistics as assonance, alliteration, and onomatopoeia function to reinforce the meanings of words or to set the mood typical of the characters. Their synergy helps create and interpret female images and provides relevant atmosphere and background to them in folk song texts.

List of abbreviationsDES

– Dictionary of English sound


– Dictionary of linguistics and phonetics


– Dictionary of symbols


– Euphonics: a poet's dictionary of sounds


– Introduction: sound-symbolic processes. Sound symbolism.


– Merriam-Webster online dictionary


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