The bouba kiki effect and language

the bouba kiki effect and language I’d like to think there’s some neurological commonality among us with respect to language, but i think the kiki/bouba phenomenon doesn’t prove it very well, given our recognizable alphabet  recently, though, it was shown that the bouba-kiki effect was in full force for children as young as two and half, far too young to read.

However, a psychological phenomenon called the bouba-kiki effect shows a different possibility in the bouba-kiki effect, people are shown a pointy picture or a curvy picture and asked to identify it as bouba or kiki even though those are both non-sense words a surprising number of people, regardless of language, identify the rounded shape as bouba and the pointy shape as kiki even though they had not been told what the words might mean.

the bouba kiki effect and language I’d like to think there’s some neurological commonality among us with respect to language, but i think the kiki/bouba phenomenon doesn’t prove it very well, given our recognizable alphabet  recently, though, it was shown that the bouba-kiki effect was in full force for children as young as two and half, far too young to read.

The bouba-kiki effect and what it can tell us about language and the human brain is still an active topic of research for further exploration try to find volunteers from a series of age groups and do this activity again. The bouba/kiki effect is a non-arbitrary mapping between speech sounds and the visual shape of objects this effect was first observed by german-american psychologist wolfgang köhler in 1929.

Sound symbolism and the bouba-kiki effect: uniting function and mechanism in the search for language universals alan kirkland staun nielsen bsc. A psychological phenomenon called the bouba–kiki effect has been used to help answer this question in this effect, people are shown a pointy picture or a curvy, bubbly shape and asked to identify it as bouba or kiki, even though those are both nonsense words they are asked to do the same with a pointy, sharper shape. One possible explanation is that this might be down to the shapes of the lips as we form the vowels in these words in “bouba” they are more curved than in “kiki.

The bouba/kiki effect actually finds its origins in much earlier work, by german psychologist wolfgang köhler in 1929 the experimental setup was essentially the same köhler showed people shapes similar to the ones above, and asked them which was a ‘takete’ and which was a ‘malumba.

Widespread documentation of the bouba-kiki effect across languages, cultures, and development, the phenomenon is not well understood (see nielsen and rendall, 2011.

The bouba kiki effect and language

There are also cognitive effects where conceptual elements are associated, such as vision and language in the case of bouba and kiki the sharp points, straight edges and consistency of the point angles in the image on the left share features with the percussive, abrupt and repetitive sounds of kiki. In the bouba-kiki effect, people are shown a pointy picture or a curvy picture and asked to identify it as bouba or kiki even though those are both non-sense words a surprising number of people, regardless of language, identify the rounded shape as bouba and the pointy shape as kiki even though they had not been told what the words might mean.

Progressively dismissed as this effect has been found in many languages (davis, 1961) and with spoken words (maurer, pathman, & mondloch, 2006) moreover, the existence of a bouba/kiki effect with pre-literate 25-year-old children cannot be explained by similarities between letters and shapes.

the bouba kiki effect and language I’d like to think there’s some neurological commonality among us with respect to language, but i think the kiki/bouba phenomenon doesn’t prove it very well, given our recognizable alphabet  recently, though, it was shown that the bouba-kiki effect was in full force for children as young as two and half, far too young to read.
The bouba kiki effect and language
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