Kawahara & Kumagai (2019) – Inferring Pokémon types using sound symbolism: The effects of voicing and labiality

Inferring Pokémon types using sound symbolism: The effects of voicing and labiality
Shigeto Kawahara, Gakuji Kumagai
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004551
April 2019
Recent studies show that sound symbolic principles are operative in Pokémon characters’ names; e.g., those characters with names that contain more voiced obstruents tend to be larger and heavier (Kawahara et al. 2018b). One question that arose from this line of research is whether other attributes of Pokémon—specifically their types—show any tangible effects of sound symbolism. This question is related to the more general issue of what kinds of semantic attributes/dimensions can be signaled by sound symbolism. In answer to this question, Hosokawa et al. (2018) showed that the dark type characters are more likely to contain voiced stops and less likely to contain labial consonants in their names than the fairy type characters. The current judgment experiment shows that these associations are productive. Moreover, the effect sizes of sound symbolism were not correlated with each participant’s familiarity with Pokémon, suggesting that the sound symbolic knowledge is more abstract than what can be gleaned from the Pokémon lexicon.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004551
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: to appear in the Journal of the Phonetic Society of Japan
keywords: sound symbolism, labial consonants, voiced obstruents, pokémon, japanese, phonetics, phonology
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