Volume 11, Issue 1
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This study aimed to test sound-meaning relations in Japanese poetry. To this end, participants assessed the sentiments expressed in a random selection of Tanka (a specific form of Japanese poetry) on six bipolar scales comprising Evaluation (emotional valence), Potency (dominance), and Activity (arousal). The selected Tanka differed with regard to their average formant-dispersion (i.e., the distance between the first and second formant). Corroborating results of a previous study that tested the relation between formant dispersion and emotional tone in German poetry, results suggest that poems with an extremely low average formant dispersion have a significantly higher likelihood of expressing dominance and activity than poems with an extremely high formant dispersion. No significant differences regarding the Evaluation dimension were found.


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Keyword(s): activity; arousal; dominance; emotion; formant dispersion; sound iconicity; sound symbolism
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