12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Modality exclusivity norms for 400 nouns
View graph of relations

« Back

Modality exclusivity norms for 400 nouns: the relationship between perceptual experience and surface word form

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date06/2013
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Journal number2
Volume45
Number of pages11
Pages516-526
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We present modality exclusivity norms for 400 randomly selected noun concepts, for which participants provided perceptual strength ratings across five sensory modalities (i.e., hearing, taste, touch, smell, and vision). A comparison with previous norms showed that noun concepts are more multimodal than adjective concepts, as nouns tend to subsume multiple adjectival property concepts (e.g., perceptual experience of the concept baby involves auditory, haptic, olfactory, and visual properties, and hence leads to multimodal perceptual strength). To show the value of these norms, we then used them to test a prediction of the sound symbolism hypothesis: Analysis revealed a systematic relationship between strength of perceptual experience in the referent concept and surface word form, such that distinctive perceptual experience tends to attract distinctive lexical labels. In other words, modality-specific norms of perceptual strength are useful for exploring not just the nature of grounded concepts, but also the nature of form-meaning relationships. These norms will be of benefit to those interested in the representational nature of concepts, the roles of perceptual information in word processing and in grounded cognition more generally, and the relationship between form and meaning in language development and evolution.