For questions related to Japanese sound symbolism, i.e. the representation of sounds, states, or mannerisms using words such as どきどき or きらきら.

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Is “あらら” (arara) a word or just a “vocal noise”?

A friend just wrote this as a comment on a photo of mine on Facebook. Is it an actual word or is it what I call a "vocal noise"? By "vocal noise" I mean those things which convey some meaning but ...