Event Title

Priming Semantic Categorization of Size through Sound Symbolism

Location

Diamond 122

Start Date

30-4-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

30-4-2015 11:55 AM

Project Type

Presentation- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

The present study extends upon the current body of literature about sound symbolism. Sound symbolism refers to the phenomenon that sounds contained within a word can convey meaning, independently of the meaning of the word within which they are contained. Previous research has shown that nonwords (a letter string without inherent semantic meaning, e.g., glurb, anibi) containing specific sounds can elicit feelings of largeness or smallness (Klink, 2000). In the current research, two studies have been conducted with nonwords containing such sounds. In one study participants were presented with a slider scale to evaluate the size of nonwords. Nonwords with sounds that denote smallness (e.g., anibi) and largeness (e.g., glurb) were indeed rated as large and small, respectively. The second study asked participants to create a short definition for the nonwords. In a final study these nonwords are being used as primes for real words representing small or large objects. Participants are presented with sound symbolism congruent (e.g., anibi-PEN) and sound symbolism incongruent (e.g., anibi-TRUCK) nonword-word pairs. Participants are then asked if the target word (i.e., the second word shown , e.g., TRUCK) in the pair was smaller or bigger than a shoebox. Responses and reaction times are recorded using a key press. We predict that congruent pairings will facilitate participants in categorizing the size of the target word. This series of experiments will bring better understanding to how vowels and consonants that elicit sound symbolism influence processing of real words within the mental lexicon by priming size information. These findings can inform researchers about the role of speech sounds in accessing meaning and potentially be of use to marketers in the selection of product names.

Faculty Sponsor

Chris Soto

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Psychology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

941

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Apr 30th, 9:00 AM Apr 30th, 11:55 AM

Priming Semantic Categorization of Size through Sound Symbolism

Diamond 122

The present study extends upon the current body of literature about sound symbolism. Sound symbolism refers to the phenomenon that sounds contained within a word can convey meaning, independently of the meaning of the word within which they are contained. Previous research has shown that nonwords (a letter string without inherent semantic meaning, e.g., glurb, anibi) containing specific sounds can elicit feelings of largeness or smallness (Klink, 2000). In the current research, two studies have been conducted with nonwords containing such sounds. In one study participants were presented with a slider scale to evaluate the size of nonwords. Nonwords with sounds that denote smallness (e.g., anibi) and largeness (e.g., glurb) were indeed rated as large and small, respectively. The second study asked participants to create a short definition for the nonwords. In a final study these nonwords are being used as primes for real words representing small or large objects. Participants are presented with sound symbolism congruent (e.g., anibi-PEN) and sound symbolism incongruent (e.g., anibi-TRUCK) nonword-word pairs. Participants are then asked if the target word (i.e., the second word shown , e.g., TRUCK) in the pair was smaller or bigger than a shoebox. Responses and reaction times are recorded using a key press. We predict that congruent pairings will facilitate participants in categorizing the size of the target word. This series of experiments will bring better understanding to how vowels and consonants that elicit sound symbolism influence processing of real words within the mental lexicon by priming size information. These findings can inform researchers about the role of speech sounds in accessing meaning and potentially be of use to marketers in the selection of product names.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/447