Cross-linguistically shared and language-specific sound symbolism in novel words elicited by locomotion videos in Japanese and English

Noburo Saji, Kimi Akita, Katerina Kantartzis, Sotaro Kita, Mutsumi Imai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper demonstrates a new quantitative approach to examine cross-linguistically shared and language-specific sound symbolism in languages. Unlike most previous studies taking a hypothesis-testing approach, we employed a data mining approach to uncover unknown sound-symbolic correspondences in the domain of locomotion, without limiting ourselves to pre-determined sound-meaning correspondences. In the experiment, we presented 70 locomotion videos to Japanese and English speakers and asked them to create a sound symbolically matching word for each action. Participants also rated each action on five meaning variables. Multivariate analyses revealed cross-linguistically shared and language-specific sound-meaning correspondences within a single semantic domain. The present research also established that a substantial number of sound-symbolic links emerge from conventionalized form-meaning mappings in the native languages of the speakers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0218707
JournalPloS one
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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