A tripartite trans-modal relationship among sounds, shapes and emotions: A case of abrupt modulation

Shigeto Kawahara, Kazuko Shinohara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current project is a case study–and an extension–of the traditional investigation into sound symbolism (Hinton et al., 1994). Several studies have shown that certain sounds evoke images of particular shapes; for example, oral stop consonants are often associated with angular shapes, whereas sonorants (nasals, liquids, and glides) are associated with round shapes (Berlin, 2006; Köhler, 1947). Berlin (2006) attributes these associations to the similarities between abrupt acoustic amplitude modulation of stop consonants and abrupt change of the directions of lines, i.e., abrupt visual changes. In this study, we extend the stop-angular sound symbolic relation to the domain of emotions. Stops not only evoke the images of angular shapes, but are also associated with emotions that involve abrupt onsets. We further show that angular shapes themselves are associated with such emotions. Our three experiments thus establish a tripartite trans-modal symbolic relationship among three domains of cognition (sounds, shapes, and emotions). As an additional general implication, we argue that our experimental results support acoustic, rather than articulatory, bases of sound symbolism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding Bridges Across Cognitive Sciences Around the World - Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2012
EditorsNaomi Miyake, David Peebles, Richard P. Cooper
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages569-574
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780976831884
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Building Bridges Across Cognitive Sciences Around the World, CogSci 2012 - Sapporo, Japan
Duration: 2012 Aug 12012 Aug 4

Publication series

NameBuilding Bridges Across Cognitive Sciences Around the World - Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2012

Conference

Conference34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Building Bridges Across Cognitive Sciences Around the World, CogSci 2012
Country/TerritoryJapan
CitySapporo
Period12/8/112/8/4

Keywords

  • abrupt modulations
  • angularity
  • emotions
  • modularity
  • sonorants
  • sound symbolism
  • stop consonants
  • synesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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