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Children and adults' understanding and use of sound-symbolism in novel words

Kantartzis, Katerina Fransesca (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Sound-symbolism is the inherent link between the sound of a word and its meaning. The aim of this thesis is to gain an insight into the nature of sound-symbolism. There are five empirical chapters, each of which aims to uncover children and adults’ understanding of sound-symbolic words. Chapter 1 is a literature review of sound-symbolism. Chapter 2 is a cross-linguistic developmental study looking at the acquisition of sound-symbolism. Chapter 3 looks at childrens use of sound-symbolism in a verb-learning task. Chapter 4 looks at childrens use of sound-symbolism when learning and memorising novel verbs. Chapter 5 consists of
two experiments looking at what exact part of a word is sound-symbolic. This study compared different types of consonants and vowels, across a number of domains in an attempt to gain an understanding of the nature of sound-symbolism. Chapter 6 looks at the potential mechanisms by which sound-symbolism is understood. This study is a replication of previous research, which found that sound-symbolic sensitivity is increased when the word is said and not just heard. There are therefore a total of five empirical chapters each of which attempts to look at the nature of sound-symbolic meaning from a slightly different angle.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Kita, Sotaro
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology
Subjects:BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:2997
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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