Shouldn't the connotation of what is denoted affect the aesthetics of the word?
by phil on Tuesday Sep 15, 2009 2:07 AM
I had a linguistics class where the teacher was making the case that similarities between disconnected languages are merely coincidences. I raised my hand and offered that shouldn't the connotation of what is denoted affect the aesthetics of the word? This linguistics professor, ever quick with recall, replied that there was a poll taken among linguistic professors to list the languages that had the ugliest words for "love." He mentioned a few that I don't recall, but damned if those weren't some nasty sounding words for love. Why would you ever use them to describe something so wonderful? (Or maybe love truly is suffering in other cultures).
On the other hand, as I researched later, there is at least some physiological bias for certain words sounding the way they do. The word for mother in many many languages starts with an m-sound. This is because the m is the easiest consonant sound for a baby to make. (wikipedia).