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Christophe wrote

 Ask Mathias Lassailly about his experience in Japan. For example,
> the onomatopoeia pekopeko (the noise of a can that is pressed) gives an
> impression of emptiness. It can so be used as an adjective to mean 'empty',
> or as the verb pekopeko-suru that means 'to be hungry'. As you have hundreds
> of onomatopoeia, you can speak only with them.
> >

Ca va, Christophe ? La forme ? Quand est-ce qu'on se refait une bouffe ? Bon, pour le message, c'est un peu trop d'honneur : je vais pas me faire que des amis sur cette liste avec toi ;-)
I can only speak of my own experience. Others' may be different. 'Giongo' are many thousands that's for sure. They pertain to all kinds of vocabulary, from slang to honorific (now out of use, I grant it), child's words to scientific or litterary prose. Of course you can't make a 'sentence' with them only, at best clauses and even phrases. I feel them as originally attributive in the way that they may not attach to an actor, in which case they rather describe a phenomenon, not a syntactic argument. In the office, when everybody is in a hurry : 'doyadoya, baribari zo !' ('crowd-stamping, energically working') is just enough to describe the situation. On sunny holyday : 'nombirito, harehare, ukiuki, nikoniko naaa !' ('idling, shiny weather, happy, smiling') is a short but precise and very correct picture of the situation. No need to make a sentence. Giongo may also be inserted in speach as a predicate or an argument (I won't say the French word for that transfer, I've been rabitt!
!
!
ing it on for posts already :-).
Well, I think it's a question of whether you explain something or just express it. I think I've learned with Japanese giongo to feel and express plenty of things I could not say otherwise. That's how I could at last get a hint of what my early professors' lectures about 'attributive speach' meant. Too late though :-)  But it's a personal statement. I think only native Japanese-speaking conlangers may give us the best clue. Also I think that Joshua Shinaver and other conlangers' *kemet* words and the like are just so reminiscent of that kind of speach.
Mathias

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