This paper offers cross-experimental verification of a previous study that found that English speakers considered velars, palatals, glides, and high vowels to be sound-symbolic of light and jerky movements. Heavy and smooth movements, by contrast, were associated with affricates, glottals, laterals, and non-high vowels. The present study sought to evaluate these findings through a novel experiment with English speaking subjects, who were asked to choose appropriate sound-symbolically constructed nonce verbs for sentences describing light, heavy, smooth, or jerky manners of motion. Our results support many of Saji et al.’s findings and also offer original insights. We find complex interactions between a sound’s potential for sound-symbolic effects, and its position in initial or second syllables of disyllabic nonce words.
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