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Orthographic Sound Symbolism

From:Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>
Date:Sunday, April 7, 2002, 21:43
Just thought that occured to me when reading the .pdf on sound symbolism
Daniel Andreasson posted:

It's frequently been argued that [i] has connotions of smallness, and [a] of
largeness; said .pdf for instance quotes an experiment according to which
80% of respondents thought /mal/ sounded bigger than /mil/. There's also
been denials of this correlation; Christophe quoted a survey that had found
40% counterexamples. Now, as anybody investigated the possibility that it
isn't the phones [i] and [a] that have these connotations, but the graphs
{i} and {a}? Most linguistis are used to the Latin alphabet, in which {i} is
undeniably smaller than {a}, and my gut feeling is that my association of
[i] to smallness is at least partly orthographically motivated, but has
anyone made a scientific study?


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