Acquisition of sound symbolic values of vowels and voiced obstruents by Japanese children: Using a Pokémonastic paradigm
Shigeto Kawahara
June 2018

Recent studies on sound symbolism have demonstrated that in Japanese Poke ́mon names, the number of voiced obstruents in their names positively correlates with their evolution levels. This correlation is likely to have its roots in the sound symbolic relationship between voiced obstruents and largeness/heaviness/strengths. This study shows that when Japanese children are provided with two non-existing names and a pair of pre-evolution and post-evolution Pokemon characters, they are more likely to associate names having voiced obstruents with post-evolution Pokmon characters. The experiment also shows that Japanese children associate post-evolution characters more with [a] than with [i], which shows that they are sensitive to vocalic sound symbolism as well. [The authors: Kawahara, Shigeto, Miwa Isobe, Yukino Kobayashi, Tomoko Monou and Reiko Okabe].
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003974
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Journal of the Phonetic Society of Japan 22(2)
keywords: sound symbolism, acquisition, voiced obstruents, vowels, phonology
previous versions: v1 [April 2018]
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