Exploring the mechanism of sound symbolism in brain's action perception networks (Dissertationsprojekt)
Institut für Deutsche und Niederländische Philologie - Brain Language Lab
In my PhD project I am working on the phenomenon of sound symbolism – namely matching meaningless speech units to abstract shapes. Sound symbolism is a distinct example of vocal iconicity and very relevant for theories on language evolution. In the first part of my project, after testing both humans and great apes on the same sound symbolic task I showed that sound symbolism is an ability specific to humans. In the second part of my project I explore the mechanism of this type of iconic processing in humans and how this is linked to our own or others’ actions and to the knowledge of the audiovisual by-products of these actions.