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Poster D32

Varying sound-symbolic contributions of acoustic parameters in shape- and size-optimized pseudoword sets across multiple domains of meaning

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Saachi Nayak1, Simon Lacey1, Lynne Nygaard2, K. Sathian1; 1Penn State College of Medicine, 2Emory University

Sound symbolism defines the non-arbitrary relationship between the sound of a word and its meaning. Previously, we analyzed relationships between the acoustic parameters of a set of 537 consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel (CVCV) auditory pseudowords, optimized for the shape domain, and their ratings on scales reflecting size, shape, weight, texture (hard/soft), brightness, arousal, and valence (Nygaard et al. & Hoffmann et al., CNS 2022). Here, we extended this work to a new set of 638 CVCV auditory pseudowords optimized for size associations, which participants again rated for size, shape, weight, brightness, arousal, valence, and two aspects of texture (hard/soft and smooth/rough). Acoustic analyses compared nine vocal parameters (mean pitch, pitch standard deviation, pulse number, fraction of unvoiced frames [FUF], jitter, shimmer, mean autocorrelation, mean harmonics-to-noise ratio [HNR], and duration) to perceptual ratings using conventional correlation methods, while three spectro-temporal parameters (speech envelope, spectral tilt, and the fast Fourier transform [FFT]) were compared to perceptual ratings using representational similarity analysis [RSA]. For the new, size-optimized set, we observed size associations with mean HNR, mean autocorrelation, duration, FUF, and jitter, that were not found for the original, shape-optimized set. Previous results for the shape and other domains were replicated, reflecting phonetic similarities between pseudoword sets. Additionally, the texture domains closely resembled each other within and across pseudoword sets. Overall, vocal and spectro-temporal parameters contributed differentially to ratings in each domain. These results reinforce our previous findings that sound-symbolic associations are domain-specific and do not simply arise from associations to a domain-general factor such as arousal.

Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other


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April 13–16  |  2024