In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Embodied

A special class of vivid, textural words defies linguistic theory: Could ‘ideophones’ unlock the secrets of humans’ first utterances?

Aeon Magazine
Jun 6 · 15 min read
‘Nurunuru’? Reiko Takahashi, 78, prepares seaweed that she collects from the sea at the Tomari Port on March 12, 2013, in Minamisanriku, Japan. Photo: Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images

By David Robson

If you don’t speak Japanese but would like, momentarily, to feel like a linguistic genius, take a look at…

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