It's not even a requirement in some languages: e.g., Latin, Sanskrit, Russian, and Chinese do without articles, definite or indefinite. Wonder is a winderful thing, but I doubt that the question has an answer.
I remember some shiny mustachioed professor saying that words are designed using something along the lines of a "parakinesthetic abstraction"; basically that certain kinds of sounds tend to be used for certain kinds of things.
An example he gave was showing the audience a picture of a curvy blob and a shape with sharp angles side by side, and he said "one of these is 'Kiki', the other 'Booba'; which is which?"
I don't think it's terribly beyond the pale to suggest that we know which is which, and the point he was trying to make is that the sounds of words have inherent meaning. I guess I was wondering if that was true do you think, or if there was more to it than that.
I think there are such things as onomatopeia and ideophone, but I think they are language-specific. For instance, Japanese waza waza means "doing something difficult on purpose, even though there is no need to, such as swimming across a river instead of taking the bridge", and uja uja means "many small things gathered together and moving, such as a swarm of insects or a crowd of people seen from a distance". But can English speakers guess which is which?
In general, the connection between sound and meaning is arbitrary.
Concerning onomatopoeia, I once read a book about "how to read aloud" that was written by a voice actor. He said that he treats every word as if it is onomatopoeic. That comment has stuck with me (even though I can't remember the book title or the author's name). It's an interesting thing to think about, as a puppeteer, professional read-aloud-er, and actress, and it changed the way I thought about those aspects of my work.
******* "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. ~Dalai Lama
If the world consists of Europe and a few of its (ex-)colonies.
The link I saw lead to a list of languages, not countries. It includes most of languages of the northern hemisphere (with the notable exception of Chinese - although Japanese is included) I reckon the descriptor "the world over" whilst not being entirely accurate, certainly does not imply that it is only European colonies' languages that are included.
After all, most of Africa was once colonised by European countries, whereas Japan and Russia were not.
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