Good vibes : the sounds of a word predict its valence
Estes, Zachary, 1973-, Adelman, James S. and Barry, T. (2009) Good vibes : the sounds of a word predict its valence. In: CogSci 2009: 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 29 Jul - 1 Aug 2009Full text not available from this repository.
Language evolved in a dangerous environment with limited resources. Under such conditions, an effective language should exhibit two key properties: (1) it should have distinct sounds indicating dangers and opportunities, and (2) those sounds should be evident immediately. We report a large-scale regression study suggesting that current languages exhibit these two properties. Among 2000 unique English words we found that (1) the phonemes of a word significantly predict its valence, and (2) the initial phoneme fully accounts for this effect. Manner and place of articulation both contribute to this effect, with voiced consonants (e.g., /g/ as in “good”) and dental consonants (e.g., /t/ as in “top”) predicting word valence. We also found significant phonetic regularities among 1034 Spanish affective words. Notably, however, the two languages mark valence with different phonemes. These findings indicate that individual phonemes convey affective information, and that the specific affective phonemes vary across languages.
|Item Type:||Conference Item (Poster)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Psychology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||English language -- Phonemics, Spanish language -- Phonemics, Affect (Psychology), Cognition, Cognitive science|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Conference Paper Type:||Poster|
|Title of Event:||CogSci 2009: 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society|
|Type of Event:||Conference|
|Location of Event:||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Date(s) of Event:||29 Jul - 1 Aug 2009|
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