Sound symbolic patterns in Pokémon names

Shigeto Kawahara, Atsushi Noto, Gakuji Kumagai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents a case study of sound symbolism, cases in which certain sounds tend to be associated with particular meanings. We used the corpus of all Japanese Pokémon names available as of October 2016. We tested the effects of voiced obstruents, mora counts, and vowel quality on Pokémon characters' size, weight, strength parameters, and evolution levels. We found that the number of voiced obstruents in Pokémon names correlates positively with size, weight, evolution levels, and general strength parameters, except for speed. We argue that this result is compatible with the frequency code hypothesis of Ohala. The number of moras in Pokémon names correlates positively with size, weight, evolution levels, and all strength parameters. Vowel height is also shown to have an influence on size and weight-Pokémon characters with initial high vowels tend to be smaller and lighter, although the effect size is not very large. Not only does this paper offer a new case study of sound symbolism, it provides evidence that sound symbolism is at work when naming proper nouns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-244
Number of pages26
JournalPhonetica
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1

Fingerprint

symbolism
vowels
acoustics
naming
evidence
Sound
Names
Sound Symbolism
Obstruents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Sound symbolic patterns in Pokémon names. / Kawahara, Shigeto; Noto, Atsushi; Kumagai, Gakuji.

In: Phonetica, Vol. 75, No. 3, 01.07.2018, p. 219-244.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kawahara, S, Noto, A & Kumagai, G 2018, 'Sound symbolic patterns in Pokémon names', Phonetica, vol. 75, no. 3, pp. 219-244. https://doi.org/10.1159/000484938
Kawahara, Shigeto ; Noto, Atsushi ; Kumagai, Gakuji. / Sound symbolic patterns in Pokémon names. In: Phonetica. 2018 ; Vol. 75, No. 3. pp. 219-244.
@article{4ca1b3aa03b24bb9bc665116344249bf,
title = "Sound symbolic patterns in Pok{\'e}mon names",
abstract = "This paper presents a case study of sound symbolism, cases in which certain sounds tend to be associated with particular meanings. We used the corpus of all Japanese Pok{\'e}mon names available as of October 2016. We tested the effects of voiced obstruents, mora counts, and vowel quality on Pok{\'e}mon characters' size, weight, strength parameters, and evolution levels. We found that the number of voiced obstruents in Pok{\'e}mon names correlates positively with size, weight, evolution levels, and general strength parameters, except for speed. We argue that this result is compatible with the frequency code hypothesis of Ohala. The number of moras in Pok{\'e}mon names correlates positively with size, weight, evolution levels, and all strength parameters. Vowel height is also shown to have an influence on size and weight-Pok{\'e}mon characters with initial high vowels tend to be smaller and lighter, although the effect size is not very large. Not only does this paper offer a new case study of sound symbolism, it provides evidence that sound symbolism is at work when naming proper nouns.",
author = "Shigeto Kawahara and Atsushi Noto and Gakuji Kumagai",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1159/000484938",
language = "English",
volume = "75",
pages = "219--244",
journal = "Phonetica",
issn = "0031-8388",
publisher = "S. Karger AG",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sound symbolic patterns in Pokémon names

AU - Kawahara, Shigeto

AU - Noto, Atsushi

AU - Kumagai, Gakuji

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - This paper presents a case study of sound symbolism, cases in which certain sounds tend to be associated with particular meanings. We used the corpus of all Japanese Pokémon names available as of October 2016. We tested the effects of voiced obstruents, mora counts, and vowel quality on Pokémon characters' size, weight, strength parameters, and evolution levels. We found that the number of voiced obstruents in Pokémon names correlates positively with size, weight, evolution levels, and general strength parameters, except for speed. We argue that this result is compatible with the frequency code hypothesis of Ohala. The number of moras in Pokémon names correlates positively with size, weight, evolution levels, and all strength parameters. Vowel height is also shown to have an influence on size and weight-Pokémon characters with initial high vowels tend to be smaller and lighter, although the effect size is not very large. Not only does this paper offer a new case study of sound symbolism, it provides evidence that sound symbolism is at work when naming proper nouns.

AB - This paper presents a case study of sound symbolism, cases in which certain sounds tend to be associated with particular meanings. We used the corpus of all Japanese Pokémon names available as of October 2016. We tested the effects of voiced obstruents, mora counts, and vowel quality on Pokémon characters' size, weight, strength parameters, and evolution levels. We found that the number of voiced obstruents in Pokémon names correlates positively with size, weight, evolution levels, and general strength parameters, except for speed. We argue that this result is compatible with the frequency code hypothesis of Ohala. The number of moras in Pokémon names correlates positively with size, weight, evolution levels, and all strength parameters. Vowel height is also shown to have an influence on size and weight-Pokémon characters with initial high vowels tend to be smaller and lighter, although the effect size is not very large. Not only does this paper offer a new case study of sound symbolism, it provides evidence that sound symbolism is at work when naming proper nouns.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85045319601&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85045319601&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1159/000484938

DO - 10.1159/000484938

M3 - Article

C2 - 29649803

AN - SCOPUS:85045319601

VL - 75

SP - 219

EP - 244

JO - Phonetica

JF - Phonetica

SN - 0031-8388

IS - 3

ER -