Sound Symbolism Facilitates Word Learning in 14-Month-Olds

Bremner, Andrew and Imai, Mutsumi and Miyazaki, Michiko and Yeung, H. Henny and Hidaka, Shohei and Kantartzis, Katerina and Okada, Hiroyuki and Kita, Sotaro (2015) Sound Symbolism Facilitates Word Learning in 14-Month-Olds. PLOS ONE, 10 (2). e0116494. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Sound symbolism, or the nonarbitrary link between linguistic sound and meaning, has often been discussed in connection with language evolution, where the oral imitation of external events links phonetic forms with their referents (e.g., Ramachandran & Hubbard, 2001). In this research, we explore whether sound symbolism may also facilitate synchronic language learning in human infants. Sound symbolism may be a useful cue particularly at the earliest developmental stages of word learning, because it potentially provides a way of bootstrapping word meaning from perceptual information. Using an associative word learning paradigm, we demonstrated that 14-month-old infants could detect Köhler-type (1947) shape-sound symbolism, and could use this sensitivity in their effort to establish a wordreferent association.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
UoA Collections > UoA 04: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Depositing User: Silvio Aldrovandi
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2017 13:24
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2017 13:24
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4696

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