Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default The literary term for non-word sounds?

    I have in mind here a cough, a tsk, a grunt, a snort and so on, all used to communicate something but only quasi-words at most.

    I seem to remember there is a term for these, but I cannot recall it.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,392
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The literary term for non-word sounds?

    Hi and welcome to Using English.

    Do you mean "onomatopoeia"?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    Munch's Avatar
    Munch is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    479
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The literary term for non-word sounds?

    I don’t think he means onomatopoeia, Barb.

    Some of the “words” you are talking about are interjections, although many interjections are “real” words.

    I am interested to know if there is a better term for this group of vocalisations.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The literary term for non-word sounds?

    How about vocal segregates? And paralanguage is used for the general area.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,871
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The literary term for non-word sounds?

    You could try "ejaculation".
    ejaculation [ɪˌdʒækjʊˈleɪʃən]
    n 1. an abrupt emphatic utterance or exclamation
    ejaculation - definition of ejaculation by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    When babies do it, technically it's called babbling. Adults can also babble.
    babbling - definition of babbling by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    Gurgling is an informal term for babies.

    "Vocalising" can include words and non-words.
    Non-word vocal production ...

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,392
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The literary term for non-word sounds?

    I think there's also "paraverbals" -- things that are, uh, like words but, umm, not.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,669
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The literary term for non-word sounds?

    There's also Phatic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, but that's not non-verbal.

    b

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The literary term for non-word sounds?

    Hi everybody,

    There is also the linguistic term: backchannels. It refers to both verbal and non-verbal responses to indicate interest, such as uh huh, hmm, tsk, oh really.

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The literary term for non-word sounds?

    Quote Originally Posted by maplecountry View Post
    Hi everybody,

    There is also the linguistic term: backchannels. It refers to both verbal and non-verbal responses to indicate interest, such as uh huh, hmm, tsk, oh really.
    Welcome to the forum.

    And thanks for that information.

Similar Threads

  1. Word sounds...please help I don't understand
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-May-2009, 03:33
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 31-Oct-2008, 16:01
  3. Official term for the word group used to describe sounds?
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14-Nov-2004, 14:11
  4. Literary Term Question
    By Howyoudoin952 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 27-Mar-2004, 21:47
  5. Literary Term used in literature and movies
    By millerac in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Feb-2004, 20:47

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •