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  Contiguity-based sound iconicity: The meaning of words resonates with phonetic properties of their immediate verbal contexts

Auracher, J., Scharinger, M., & Menninghaus, W. (2019). Contiguity-based sound iconicity: The meaning of words resonates with phonetic properties of their immediate verbal contexts. PLOS ONE, 14(5), e0216930. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0216930.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-CBD0-D Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-CBFC-D
Genre: Journal Article

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Contiguity-based sound iconicity.pdf (Any fulltext), 2MB
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2019
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© 2019 Auracher et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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 Creators:
Auracher, Jan1, Author              
Scharinger, Mathias2, Author              
Menninghaus, Winfried1, Author              
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1Department of Language and Literature, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society, ou_2421695              
2external, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: We tested the hypothesis that phonosemantic iconicity––i.e., a motivated resonance of sound and meaning––might not only be found on the level of individual words or entire texts, but also in word combinations such that the meaning of a target word is iconically expressed, or highlighted, in the phonetic properties of its immediate verbal context. To this end, we extracted single lines from German poems that all include a word designating high or low dominance, such as large or small, strong or weak, etc. Based on insights from previous studies, we expected to find more vowels with a relatively short distance between the first two formants (low formant dispersion) in the immediate context of words expressing high physical or social dominance than in the context of words expressing low dominance. Our findings support this hypothesis, suggesting that neighboring words can form iconic dyads in which the meaning of one word is sound-iconically reflected in the phonetic properties of adjacent words. The construct of a contiguity-based phono-semantic iconicity opens many venues for future research well beyond lines extracted from poems.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-05
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216930
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Title: PLOS ONE
  Alternative Title : PLOS ONE
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 14 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: e0216930 Identifier: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216930