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Kohta Wakamatsu, Jinhwan Kwon, Maki Sakamoto, Shigeki Nakauchi; Sound symbolism expressing visual texture on different linguistic backgrounds. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):858. doi: 10.1167/18.10.858.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We associate certain sounds with certain psychological concepts such as size and sharpness. This phenomenon is called sound symbolism, and some sound-symbolic words have universality regardless of different linguistic background as shown in Bouba-Kiki Effect (Ramachandran & Hubbard, 2001). Here we investigated whether universal sound-symbolic words expressing visual texture exist, using International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) features, which reflects the movement of our speech organs. We used 1946 material images obtained from Flickr Material Database (Sharan et al., 2014). In experiment 1, Japanese native speakers were asked to rate the 14 texture measures (e.g., glossiness and roughness) using visual analog scale from each image and asked to express its impression using sound-symbolic words. We performed multiple regression analysis to predict perceptual quality rating value (14 texture measures) based on 17 IPA features of the obtained sound-symbolic words. As a result, some perceptual qualities such as glossiness corresponded to visual dominance, and roughness corresponded to tactile dominance were significantly explained (R2=0.65, 0.68, respectively). This result suggests that perceptual qualities perceived from visual image are linked to the IPA features of sound-symbolic words expressing texture impression. In Experiment 2, we used eight tangible materials which consist of two soft-smooth, two soft-rough, two hard-smooth and two hard-rough texture stimuli. We presented two materials paired from different texture categories and two sounds created using IPA features obtained from Experiment 1 to Korean native speakers. Then, the participants were asked to judge texture material-sound pairings. As a result, Korean participants have paired smooth-soft materials with smooth-soft sounds and rough-hard materials with rough-hard sounds. The results show significantly more frequent than chance level (binomial test, p < 0.001). This result supports our hypothesis that there exists universality of sound-symbolic words expressing visual texture between different linguistic backgrounds.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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