The Changing role of Sound-Symbolism for small versus large vocabularies

Brand, James and Monaghan, Padraic and Walker, Peter * (2017) The Changing role of Sound-Symbolism for small versus large vocabularies. Cognitve Science. pp. 1-13. ISSN 0364-0213

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Natural language contains many examples of sound-symbolism, where the form of the word carries information about its meaning. Such systematicity is more prevalent in the words children acquire first, but arbitrariness dominates during later vocabulary development. Furthermore, systematicity appears to promote learning category distinctions, which may become more important as the vocabulary grows. In this study, we tested the relative costs and benefits of sound symbolism for word learning as vocabulary size varies. Participants learned form meaning mappings for words which were either congruent or incongruent with regard to sound-symbolic relations. For the smaller vocabulary, sound-symbolism facilitated learning individual words, whereas for larger vocabularies sounds-symbolism supported learning category distinctions. The changing properties of form-meaning mappings according to vocabulary size may reflect the different ways in which language is learned at different stages of development.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Sound-Symbolism for the growing vocabulary
Uncontrolled Keywords: sound-symbolism; language learning; vocabulary development; language evolution
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Others > Non Sunway Academics
Depositing User: Dr Janaki Sinnasamy
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2017 07:05
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 09:23

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