Languages less arbitrary than long assumed

It is a cornerstone of theoretical linguistics: the principle of arbitrariness, according to which the form of a word doesn’t tell you anything about its meaning. Yet evidence is accumulating that natural languages do in fact feature several non-arbitrary ways to link form and meaning, and these are more prevalent than assumed. A new review in Trends in Cognitive Sciences presents a comprehensive case for supplementing the cherished principle of arbitrariness with other types of associations between form and meaning. —> Read More