Sound Symbolism Facilitates Word Learning in 14-Month-Olds

Bremner, Andrew, Imai, Mutsumi, Miyazaki, Michiko, Yeung, H. Henny, Hidaka, Shohei, Kantartzis, Katerina ORCID: 0000-0002-8008-144X, Okada, Hiroyuki and Kita, Sotaro (2015) Sound Symbolism Facilitates Word Learning in 14-Month-Olds. PLoS ONE, 10 (2). e0116494. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116494

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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
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sound symbolism; Language learning; Infancy; Psycholinguistics; REF2021
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Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 14 May 2018 12:25
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:05

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