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The logatom of a language or, depending on the context, also a non-word is used in various fields of application to denote a human utterance similar to syllables or words .

Examples with reference to the German can be: "pugt" or "Traus" or "Wadensumpf". The syllables “fott” and “Panz” are German logatoms, but words for example from Kölschen . However, linguistics differentiates more precisely between non-word and pseudo- word , whereby a pseudo- word is one that is similar to German words, i.e. H. contains a permitted syllable and phoneme structure , whereas a non-word is characterized by a pronunciation that is not possible in German. A non-word would be e.g. B. "mvxnbfdnh", while "Piegel" is a pseudo word. Therefore, pseudo-words are language dependent, and a pseudo-word in one language can be a non-word in another language.

Conversely, there are words like Raffstore , which are German but do not seem to be. It is not possible to tell whether the word Raff-store or Raffs-tore is being spoken.

Acoustics, sound engineering

A log atom is a monosyllabic made- up word composed of speech sounds to measure the intelligibility of syllables in acoustic or electroacoustic transmissions , for example in public address systems on platforms or television intercom systems.


In psychological research, such senseless syllables are used to test the memory and learning performance of the human brain . The results of this research are also the basis of learning psychology .


In phonology monosyllabic and polysyllabic words are called logatoms, which have no meaning in the examined language, but appear 'correctly' formed according to the phonetic and phontactic rules of the language and can therefore be used, for example, in minimal pairs if there is no meaningful word is available.

In German, for example, one can see many onomatopoeic or sound-imitating expressions such as “ palim ” or “parduzidapeng” and just names such as Pril , Hugendubel or Müller-Wipperfürth as logatoms. In order to make phonological distinctions, however, logatoms are more likely to be used, which can be formed on the basis of words to be compared in order to contrast, for example, " dance " ↔ "plant" ↔ " rumen " or "dance" ↔ " tansen" ↔ " rumen ", which is not so easy in a direct comparison, because the words "dance" and "rumen" differ in two speech sounds. This gap is bridged with the non-words "Panzen" or "Tansen".

Application in advertising

Logatoms in this linguistic sense are often used in product marketing because they do not seem burdened with associations (for example " Balisto ") or arouse certain desired associations (such as " Pasture luck ") without already having a fixed meaning. Even real borrowings (such as " tampon ") or Scheinentlehnungen (such as "Bistroletto") are initially been German logatoms before they were due to the corresponding use in marketing to the German words, or at least the product name.

Individual evidence

  1. see e.g. B. Elmar Ternes: Introduction to Phonology. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1987, ISBN 3-534-09576-6 , p. 66 ff.