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Which Is "Bouba", and Which Is "Kiki"?

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Sooner or later, I was going to get around to this: it's one of the most famous experiments in linguistics. •
Written with Molly Ruhl and Gretchen McCulloch. Gretchen's podcast has an episode all about this:

Gretchen's book BECAUSE INTERNET, all about the evolution of internet language, is available:

(Those are affiliate links that give a commission to me or Gretchen, depending on country!)

Graphics by William Marler:
Audio mix by Graham Haerther:

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Ramachandran, V. S., Hubbard, E. M. (2001) Synaesthesia—A window into perception, thought and language. Journal of Consciousness Studies 8: 3–34.
Berlin, B. (1994). Evidence for pervasive synesthetic sound symbolism in ethnozoological nomenclature. In L. Hinton, J. Nichols & J. Ohala (Eds.), Sound symbolism (pp. 76 – 93). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Davis, R. (1961). The fitness of names to drawings. a cross-cultural study in Tanganyika. Br. J. Psychol. 52, 259–268. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1961.tb00788.x,
Ramachandran, V. S., and Hubbard, E. M. (2001). Synaesthesia—a window into perception, thought and language. J. Conscious. Stud. 8, 3–34.,
Koriat, A., & Levy, I. (1979). Figural symbolism in Chinese ideographs. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 8 (4), 353 – 365.
Maurer, D., Pathman, T., Mondloch, C.J. (2006). The shape of boubas: sound-shape correspondences in toddlers and adults. Developmental science, Vol.9 (3), p.316-322,
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Bremner, A. J., Caparos, S., Davidoff, J., de Fockert, J., Linnell, K. J., and Spence, C. (2013). “Bouba” and “Kiki” in Namibia? A remote culture make similar shape-sound matches, but different shape-taste matches to Westerners. Cognition 126, 165–172. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2012.09.007
De Saussure, F. (2011, republished from 1916). Course in general linguistics. Columbia University Press.
Styles, S.J., & Gawne, L. (2017). When Does Maluma/Takete Fail? Two Key Failures and a Meta-Analysis Suggest That Phonology and Phonotactics Matter. I-Perception, 8(4), 2041669517724807.

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