Edited by Kiyoko Toratani
[Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research 25] 2022
► pp. 79–110
This study explores the sound-symbolic effects of Japanese consonants on image of food textures. Our experiment tested whether voiced vs. voiceless plosives, at various places of articulation, could affect participants’ image of the hardness of a snack. The results revealed that both voicing and place of articulation had effects and that voicing had a stronger effect. Our results support the explanation of sound symbolism based on embodied motivation, as discussed in Cognitive Linguistics. Regarding the voicing of obstruents, the acoustic account cannot explain our results, while the articulatory and the lexical accounts are compatible with them. Regarding the place of articulation, all three accounts can explain our results. These findings can provide insights for food product marketing and related fields.