IcoSem 2023

Iconicity Seminar 2023

IcoSem 2023 will be held online on 25 November 2023 from GMT 7:00am to GMT 7:00pm.

This is equivalent to:

City From To
Vancouver 24 Nov 11:00pm 25 Nov 11:00am
Sao Paulo 25 Nov 4:00am 25 Nov 4:00pm
Johannesburg 25 Nov 9:00am 25 Nov 9:00pm
New Delhi 25 Nov 12:30pm 26 Nov 00:30am
Tokyo 25 Nov 4:00pm 26 Nov 4:00am

This long time frame will allow participants all over the world in different time zones to participate in whichever time slot(s) they are available in.

The main language of the conference will be English, spoken and written with live transcription. Those wishing to present in a sign language are welcome do so, in which case English subtitles shall be provided.

Plenary speaker: Neil Cohn (Tilburg University)

Multimodality, iconcity, and visual lexicons

The traditional view has held that language is an amodal and arbitrary system that is mutable across different modalities. Yet, recent work on expressions in the bodily and graphic modalities have complicated this view, especially in light of multimodal communication. Here, I present a model of a multimodal language faculty which intrinsically maintains components for the vocal, bodily, and graphic modalities. This model inherently allows for conventionalization of all types of signification, including iconicity. I will illustrate this further by showing the extensive standardized visual lexicons using linguistic structures in purely graphic systems across the world. Altogether, this heralds a re-understanding of what language is.


Each talk will be 20 minutes presentation and 10 minutes Q&A.

※ = Presenter

Title Author Time (GMT)
Welcome and self-introductions JOO, Ian 07:00
Sound symbolism through the ages: a longitudinal analysis of vowel and tonal patterns in Chinese names across generations ※NGAI, C. H. and TIAN, Z. 07:30
Iconicity through the lens of information theory KILPATRICK, Alexander 08:00
What ratings and corpus data reveal about the vividness of Mandarin ABB words ※VAN HOEY, Thomas and YU, Xiaoyu and PAN, Tung-Le and DO, Youngah 08:30
Break 1 (30min) 09:00
Multimodality, iconcity, and visual lexicons COHN, Neil 09:30
Break 2 (30min) 10:30
Correspondences between vowel intrinsic duration and the length of musical notes: implications for the mil/mal effect FENK-OCZLON, Gertraud 11:00
Phonetic exploration of sound symbolism in Moroccan Arabic: high vowels and size perception ※ZOURI, Yassine and OULGHAZI, Rachid and HAMDI, Rachid 11:30
In sound symbolic effects, visual dimensions interact: the case of vowel quality and cuteness SCHMITZ, Dominic and ※CICEK, Defne and ※NGUYEN, Anh Kim and ROTTLEB, Daniel 12:00
Break 3 (60min) 12:30
The iconicity of cross-linguistic phonesthetics ERBEN JOHANSSON, Niklas 13:30
Lexical vs semiotic, full vs partial: redefining iconicity in the study of lexicons NEMO, François 14:00
Break 4 (30min) 14:30
Iconicity of quantity in comics ※KRAJINOVIĆ, Ana and HACIMUSAOĞLU, Irmak and COHN, Neil 15:00
Vocal and visual symbolism ※MADUREIRA, S. and ANDREASSA, J. and BRISOLA, E. and CROCHIQUIA, A. and FONTES, M. and PIRES, M. and SCARPELLY, R 15:30
Visual-motor iconicity in the spatial language of deaf traditional Negev Arabic speakers CERQUEGLINI, Letizia 16:00
Break 5 (60min) 16:30
Etymology of imitative words: homonymy vs. polysemy FLAKSMAN, Maria 17:30
Product names as diagrammatic-iconic compositions DÜBBERT, Alexander 18:00
Is /tʃ/ a phonaesteme in Mexican Spanish? Origins and phonosemantic fields WAGNER OVIEDO, Carlos de Jesús 18:30
Closing remarks JOO, Ian 19:00

Book of abstracts

Book of abstracts


Register here (no participation fee)

Call for papers (Closed)

We call for papers for 30-minute presentations (20min presentation + 10min Q&A) dealing with any aspect of linguistic iconicity, such as:

Please send a 2-page abstract (including everything) in the following format:

Please send your anonymized abstract to ian_joo@nucba.ac.jp. Your anonymous abstract will then be reviewed by two anonymous reviewers.

The deadline is September 30. Decisions will be communicated to you on a rolling basis within two weeks after submission.

There is no participation fee.

Join our Facebook group for iconicity