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In functional-cognitive linguistics, iconicity is the conceived similarity or analogy between a form of language and its meaning.

Iconic principles:

  • Quantity principle: formal complexity corresponds to conceptual complexity
  • Proximity principle: conceptual distance tends to match with linguistic distance
  • Sequential order principle: the sequential order of events described is mirrored in the speech chain

Iconic coding principles are natural tendencies in language and are also part of our cognitive and biological make-up.

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