14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)
San Francisco, CA, USA
Studies in Sound Symbolism have showed that the phonetic characteristics of birds, fish and mammals names suggest the workings of universal sound-symbolic processes. This paper describes an experiment with !xóõ data, a southern Khoisan language, to test these claims. Clicks are almost perfect objects for this kind of study because of their intrinsic acoustic properties. Results show that contrary to most studies showing that high frequency is the most important acoustic parameter to symbolize bird names, one must also take other factors into account, i.e. timing and intensity.
Bibliographic reference. Bettex, Stéfania / Demolin, Didier (1999): "SOUND SYMBOLISM IN !Xóõ", In ICPhS-14, 1337-1340.