nA common claim in the literature on ideophones in African languages is that these are phonologically marked. They can contain unusual consonant phonemes (less usually vowels) or sequences. They also more often contain glide tones than the
nThe labio-dental flap, recently
recognised by the IPA, is more common in many languages in ideophones than in ordinary words. Indeed, its recognition depended on the argument that it is common in ‘ordinary’ words in
nCourtenay (1976) argues that phonological markedness is the case in Yoruba, as does Madugu’s (1987) for Nupe. This
is certainly the case for many of the
southern African Bantu languages studied
in detail, where specific rules of reduplication
and tone-patterns abound.