Mark Dingemanse


Displaying 1 - 22 of 22
  • Blokpoel, M., Dingemanse, M., Kachergis, G., Bögels, S., Drijvers, L., Eijk, L., Ernestus, M., De Haas, N., Holler, J., Levinson, S. C., Lui, R., Milivojevic, B., Neville, D., Ozyurek, A., Rasenberg, M., Schriefers, H., Trujillo, J. P., Winner, T., Toni, I., & Van Rooij, I. (2018). Ambiguity helps higher-order pragmatic reasoners communicate. Talk presented at the 14th biannual conference of the German Society for Cognitive Science, GK (KOGWIS 2018). Darmstadt, Germany. 2018-09-03 - 2018-09-06.
  • Bögels, S., Milvojevic, B., De Haas, N., Döller, C., Rasenberg, M., Ozyurek, A., Dingemanse, M., Eijk, L., Ernestus, M., Schriefers, H., Blokpoel, M., Van Rooij, I., Levinson, S. C., & Toni, I. (2018). Creating shared conceptual representations. Poster presented at the 10th Dubrovnik Conference on Cognitive Science, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2016). Arbitrariness, systematicy and iconicity in natural language [invited lecture]. Talk presented at the Interacting Minds Center. Aarhus, Denmark. 2016-03-08.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2016). Arbitrariness, iconicity and systematicity in language [invited lecture]. Talk presented at the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition. Leiden, The Netherlands. 2016-02-04.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2016). Is "Huh?" a universal word? [public lecture]. Talk presented at the Aarhus University (Ig Nobel Scandinavian Tour). Aarhus, Denmark. 2016-02-08.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2016). Is "Huh?" a universal word? [public lecture]. Talk presented at the Festsalen, Copenhagen University (Ig Nobel Scandinavian Tour). Copenhagen, Denmark. 2016-03-12.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2016). Is "Huh?" a universal word? [public lecture]. Talk presented at the Karolinska Institute (Ig Nobel Scandinavian Tour). Stockholm, Sweden. 2016-03-13.
  • Dingemanse, M., & van Leeuwen, T. M. (2016). What does sound-symbolism have to do with synaesthesia?. Talk presented at the Grote Taaldag. Utrecht, The Netherlands. 2016-02-06.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2016). Towards a typology of conversational structures: The case of other-initiated repair [invited lecture]. Talk presented at the Functional & Cognitive Linguistics: Grammar and Typology. Department of Linguistics. Leuven, Belgium. 2016-04-24.
  • Lockwood, G., Drijvers, L., Hagoort, P., & Dingemanse, M. (2016). In search of the kiki-bouba effect. Poster presented at the Eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL 2016), London, UK.


    The kiki-bouba effect, where people map round shapes onto round sounds (such as [b] and [o]) and spiky shapes onto “spiky” sounds (such as [i] and [k]), is the most famous example of sound symbolism. Many behavioural variations have been reported since Köhler’s (1929) original experiments. These studies examine orthography (Cuskley, Simner, & Kirby, 2015), literacy (Bremner et al., 2013), and developmental disorders (Drijvers, Zaadnoordijk, & Dingemanse, 2015; Occelli, Esposito, Venuti, Arduino, & Zampini, 2013). Some studies have suggested that the cross-modal associations between linguistic sound and physical form in the kiki-bouba effect are quasi-synaesthetic (Maurer, Pathman, & Mondloch, 2006; Ramachandran & Hubbard, 2001). However, there is a surprising lack of neuroimaging data in the literature that explain how these cross-modal associations occur (with the exceptions of Kovic et al. (2010)and Asano et al. (2015)). We presented 24 participants with randomly generated spiky or round figures and 16 synthesised, reduplicated CVCV (vowels: [i] and [o], consonants: [f], [v], [t], [d], [s], [z], [k], and [g]) nonwords based on Cuskley et al. (2015). This resulted in 16 nonwords across four conditions: full match, vowel match, consonant match, and full mismatch. Participants were asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 7 how well the nonword fit the shape it was presented with. EEG was recorded throughout, with epochs timelocked to the auditory onset of the nonword. There were significant behavioural effects of condition (p<0.0001). Bonferroni t-tests show participants rated full match more highly than full mismatch nonwords. However, there was no reflection of this behavioural effect in the ERP waveforms. One possible reason for the absence of an ERP effect is that this effect may jitter over a broad latency range. Currently oscillatory effects are being analysed, since these are less dependent on precise time-locking to the triggering events.
  • Lockwood, G., van Leeuwen, T. M., Drijvers, L., & Dingemanse, M. (2016). Synaesthesia and sound-symbolism — insights from the Groot Nationaal Onderzoek project. Poster presented at the Synesthesia and Cross-Modal Perception, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Lockwood, G., Hagoort, P., & Dingemanse, M. (2016). Synthesized size-sound sound symbolism. Talk presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016). Philadelphia, PA, USA. 2016-08-10 - 2016-08-13.


    Studies of sound symbolism have shown that people can associate sound and meaning in consistent ways when presented with maximally contrastive stimulus pairs of nonwords such as bouba/kiki (rounded/sharp) or mil/mal (small/big). Recent work has shown the effect extends to antonymic words from natural languages and has proposed a role for shared cross-modal correspondences in biasing form-to-meaning associations. An important open question is how the associations work, and particularly what the role is of sound-symbolic matches versus mismatches. We report on a learning task designed to distinguish between three existing theories by using a spectrum of sound-symbolically matching, mismatching, and neutral (neither matching nor mismatching) stimuli. Synthesized stimuli allow us to control for prosody, and the inclusion of a neutral condition allows a direct test of competing accounts. We find evidence for a sound-symbolic match boost, but not for a mismatch difficulty compared to the neutral condition.
  • Van Leeuwen, T. M., Dingemanse, M., Lockwood, G., & Drijvers, L. (2016). Color associations in nonsynaesthetes and synaesthetes: A large-scale study in Dutch. Talk presented at the Synesthesia and Cross-Modal Perception. Dublin, Ireland. 2016-04-22.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2012). Advances in the cross-linguistic study of ideophones. Talk presented at the Center for Language Studies Colloquium. Nijmegen, The Netherlands. 2012-05-31.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2012). Ideophones and creativity. Talk presented at the 86th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. Portland, Oregon. 2012-01-06 - 2012-01-08.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2012). Ideophones at the intersection of theory and methods in African linguistics [plenary lecture]. Talk presented at the 43rd Annual Conference on African Linguistics. New Orleans. 2012-03-15 - 2012-03-17.
  • Dingemanse, M., Torreira, F., & Enfield, N. J. (2012). Huh? The form and semiotics of a possible universal interjection for initiating repair. Talk presented at the CogLingdays 5. Groningen, the Netherlands. 2012-12-14 - 2012-12-15.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2012). Reduplication and expressive morphology in ideophones [plenary lecture]. Talk presented at the workshop Total Reduplication: morphological, pragmatic and typological features. Brussels, Belgium. 2012-11-18 - 2012-11-19.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2012). Show, don’t tell: A multi-methods approach to performance and creativity in ideophones. Talk presented at the 5th Language, Culture & Mind conference (LCM V): Integrating Semiotic Resources in Communication and Creativity. Lisbon, Portugal. 2012-06-27 - 2012-06-29.
  • Dingemanse, M., & Majid, A. (2012). The semantic structure of sensory vocabulary in an African language. Talk presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2012). Sapporo, Japan. 2012-08-01 - 2012-08-04.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2012). The semantic structure of sensory vocabulary: Ideophones, imagery, and iconicity. Talk presented at the Workshop on Embodiment and Sound-Symbolism. Keio University, Tokyo. 2012-08-06 - 2012-08-07.
  • Mitterer, H., Schuerman, W. L., Reinisch, E., Tufvesson, S., & Dingemanse, M. (2012). The limited power of sound symbolism. Talk presented at the 18th Annual Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP 2012). Riva del Garda, Italy. 2012-09-06 - 2012-09-08.


    In defiance of the assumed design principle of language of arbitrariness between sign and signified, many languages use ideophones, which are depictive words for sensory imagery. The form-meaning mappings in ideophones have been variably hypothesized to be language-specific, universal, or a mixture of both. We test the claim of universality, and in particular, the claim that ideophones “do the work of representation by phonetic means” (Tedlock, 1999). In support of this claim, recent research shows that naive listeners can consistently map certain sounds to certain meanings in nonce words, leading to claims that such mappings may underlie the evolution of language (Ramachandran & Hubbard, 2001). Given the theoretical weight ascribed to sound-symbolism in language, it is important to know whether ideophones could live up to this promise. The "recognizability" of these mappings may be due to both segmental and suprasegmental properties of the stimuli. While the segmental properties tend to be singled out, prosodic aspects have not been investigated yet. To critically evaluate the power of lexicalised sound-symbolism in ideophones, we recorded over 200 ideophones from five semantic categories (Sound, Motion, Texture, Visual Appearance, and Shape) and from five languages (Japanese, Korean, Semai, Siwu, Ewe, representing four language families).

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