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Forster, Iris, Susanne R. Borgwaldt, and Martin Neef. "Form follows function: Interjections and onomatopoetica in comics." Writing Systems Research 4. (2012): 122–39. 
Added by: joachim (9/7/13, 8:54 AM)   
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/17586801.2012.751348
BibTeX citation key: Forster2012
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Categories: General
Keywords: Language, Onomatopoeia
Creators: Borgwaldt, Forster, Neef
Collection: Writing Systems Research
Views: 35/583
One of the specific features of language in comics is the relatively frequent occurrence of interjections, and onomatopoetica in general. Such words show remarkable variation in their written forms. In our study, we focus on these variations: We created a database of interjections′ spelling variants, based on six comics, and subsequently analysed them.
First, we demonstrate that the variant spellings of interjections can be modelled within a formal theory of writing systems: Neef’s Recoding Model of Graphematics, published in 2005, that distinguishes between orthography, i.e., the study of the spelling of words, and graphematics, i.e., the study of the relation between written forms and phonological representations. While theoretical models of writing systems often specifically exclude interjections from the scope of their theory, Neef’s model includes them and furthermore predicts variation in their spellings.
Second, we analyse which additional information can be transmitted through the choice of spelling variants, e.g., <aaahh!> instead of <ah!>, as well as by typographic means, i.e., variations in letter font, shape, size, colour, or orientation. We distinguish five possible functions which might be conveyed by the variant forms, including functions which go beyond the purpose of visualising audible phenomena (=phonetic function): alerting function, play function, relation function, and indexical function.
Added by: joachim  
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