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Linguistics

Sound and meaning in the world's languages

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The sounds of words that represent particular meanings are usually thought to vary arbitrarily across languages. However, a large-scale study of languages finds that some associations between sound and meaning are widespread.

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Figure 1: The bouba–kiki phenomenon.

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Correspondence to W. Tecumseh Fitch.

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Fitch, W. Sound and meaning in the world's languages. Nature 539, 39–40 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature20474

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