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Brain Lang. 2015 Jun-Jul;145-146:11-22. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2015.03.011. Epub 2015 May 16.

Balloons and bavoons versus spikes and shikes: ERPs reveal shared neural processes for shape-sound-meaning congruence in words, and shape-sound congruence in pseudowords.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Čika Ljubina 18-20, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia(1); Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, 9 South Parks Road, United Kingdom. Electronic address: jelena.sucevic@psy.ox.ac.uk.
2
University of Belgrade, School of Electrical Engineering, Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 73, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia; Tecnalia Serbia Ltd., 11000 Belgrade, Serbia.
3
University of Belgrade, School of Electrical Engineering, Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 73, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia.
4
Division of Psychology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 14 Nanyang Drive, 637332 Singapore, Singapore.
5
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Čika Ljubina 18-20, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia(1).

Abstract

There is something about the sound of a pseudoword like takete that goes better with a spiky, than a curvy shape (Köhler, 1929:1947). Yet despite decades of research into sound symbolism, the role of this effect on real words in the lexicons of natural languages remains controversial. We report one behavioural and one ERP study investigating whether sound symbolism is active during normal language processing for real words in a speaker's native language, in the same way as for novel word forms. The results indicate that sound-symbolic congruence has a number of influences on natural language processing: Written forms presented in a congruent visual context generate more errors during lexical access, as well as a chain of differences in the ERP. These effects have a very early onset (40-80 ms, 100-160 ms, 280-320 ms) and are later overshadowed by familiar types of semantic processing, indicating that sound symbolism represents an early sensory-co-activation effect.

KEYWORDS:

Event related potentials; Implicit interference; Language processing; Lexical decision; Sound symbolism

PMID:
25935826
DOI:
10.1016/j.bandl.2015.03.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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