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Linguistics / Literature - 16.11.2021
Perceptual links between sound and shape may unlock origins of spoken words
Most people around the world agree that the made-up word 'bouba' sounds round in shape, and the made-up word 'kiki' sounds pointy - a discovery that may help to explain how spoken languages develop, according to a new study. Language scientists have discovered that this effect exists independently of the language that a person speaks or the writing system that they use, and it could be a clue to the origins of spoken words.
Linguistics / Literature - 12.05.2021
Ancestors may have created ’iconic’ sounds as bridge to first languages
The 'missing link' that helped our ancestors to begin communicating with each other through language may have been iconic sounds, rather than charades-like gestures - giving rise to the unique human power to coin new words describing the world around us, a new study reveals. It was widely believed that, in order to get the first languages off the ground, our ancestors first needed a way to create novel signals that could be understood by others, relying on visual signs whose form directly resembled the intended meaning.