sound-word For Bely, if the meaning of a word is merely a picture (image), then it is a "term" and lifeless. We need the re-unification with sound. Once upon a time, he argues, there was an intimate connection between the sound and the sense of a word. But the meaning (sense) of words has changed while the sound has remained the same or more or less stable. Actually, some linguists would counter that the sound (pronunciation of a word) has altered dramatically throughout the course of human language, and that meaning is a more stable element.