Friday, January 20, 2017

Sound Symbolism and Universal Language

In this context, we have no choice but to summon Kiki and Bouba, two letters of an alien alphabet that although no person has ever heard it, they still known which is which, because one feels sharp and the other round, and that is called synaesthesia.

A nose by any other name would sound the same, study finds

“A study that shatters a cornerstone concept in linguistics […] two-thirds of the world's languages shows that humans tend to use the same sounds for common objects and ideas, no matter what language they're speaking […]the research demonstrates a robust statistical relationship between certain basic concepts—from body parts to familial relationships and aspects of the natural world—and the sounds humans around the world use to describe them […] For example, in most languages, the word for "nose" is likely to include the sounds "neh" or the "oo" sound, as in "ooze." The word for "tongue" is likely to have "l" (as in "langue" in French).”

Morten H. Christiansen, professor of psychology and director of Cornell's Cognitive Neuroscience Lab: “There does seem to be something about the human condition that leads to these patterns. We don't know what it is, but we know it's there.”

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