User:Jahsonic/The linguistic sign is not arbitrary
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- status: draft
- The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary. Since I mean by sign the whole that results from the associating of the signifier with the signified, I can simply say: the linguistic sign is arbitrary. tr. Wade Baskin, source
This statement implies that in the evolution of language, the naming of objects has been arbitrary and not dependent on sound symbolism. De Saussure even denied the significance of sound symbolism in onomatopoeia and interjections.
Informal research conducted by myself indicates that when informants are asked which of the two shapes is the 'smart' one and which is the 'dumb' one, "kiki" is usually designated as the smart one (remember, sharp in English also means intelligent) and "bouba" the dumb one (likewise, dull means not intelligent).
I was surprised not to see the Bouba/kiki effect in The Search for the Perfect Language (The Making of Europe) by Umberto Eco.
- Sound symbolism
- The Sign is Not Arbitrary (1949) by Dwight Bolinger of Harvard University.
- Superseded scientific theories