14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Constellation of Sounds in Mental Space

Ivo Škarić

Department of Phonetics, University of Zagreb, Croatia

This paper departs from the assumption that phonemic sounds also exist as independent mental entities, that is, independently of their pronunciation, acoustic, syntagmatic, linguistic and functional, prosodic, pragmatic, indexical or any other actualization. Their existence may be established and some of their characteristics revealed by their interactive assessment. The method employed in this study was the Galileo procedure of J. Woelfel and E. L. Fink. A group of 160 students studying phonetics and speech pathology at Zagreb University introspectively evaluated distances of 30 Croatian phonemic sounds arranged in pairs, each pair with each other and with ego (me), which means that 465 pairs were evaluated, that is (30+1)(31-1)/2. The results are partially as expected, however there are some which are rather unexpected and are not easy to interpret. We assume that it is because a new approach was employed and consequently a new aspect of sound reality emerged.


Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Škarić, Ivo (1999): "Constellation of sounds in mental space", In ICPhS-14, 337-340.