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  Evidence of sound symbolism in simple vocalizations

Parise, C., & Pavani, F. (2011). Evidence of sound symbolism in simple vocalizations. Experimental Brain Research, 214(3), 373-380. doi:10.1007/s00221-011-2836-3.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B97C-8 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-AFFD-E
Genre: Journal Article

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Parise, CV1, 2, Author              
Pavani, F, Author
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1Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497806              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: The question of the arbitrariness of language is among the oldest in cognitive sciences, and it relates to the nature of the associations between vocal sounds and their meaning. Growing evidence seems to support sound symbolism, claiming for a naturally constrained mapping of meaning into sounds. Most of such evidence, however, comes from studies based on the interpretation of pseudowords, and to date, there is little empirical evidence that sound symbolism can affect phonatory behavior. In the present study, we asked participants to utter the letter /a/ in response to visual stimuli varying in shape, luminance, and size, and we observed consistent sound symbolic effects on vocalizations. Utterances’ loudness was modulated by stimulus shape and luminance. Moreover, stimulus shape consistently modulated the frequency of the third formant (F3). This finding reveals an automatic mapping of specific visual attributes into phonological features of vocalizations. Furthermore, it suggests that sound-meaning associations are reciprocal, affecting active (production) as well as passive (comprehension) linguistic behavior.

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 Dates: 2011-10
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1007/s00221-011-2836-3
BibTex Citekey: 6572
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Title: Experimental Brain Research
  Other : Exp. Brain Res.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Heidelberg : Springer-Verlag
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 214 (3) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 373 - 380 Identifier: ISSN: 0014-4819
CoNE: /journals/resource/954925398496