from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- (Philol.) The theory which maintains that the primitive elements of language are reflex expressions induced by sensory impressions; that is, as stated by Max Müller, the creative faculty gave to each general conception as it thrilled for the first time through the brain a phonetic expression; -- jocosely so called from the analogy of the sound of a bell induced by the stroke of the clapper.
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