Someone's Analysis of the Phonosemantic Data

 



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Help!!! Someone who practices phonoemotionality sent this very interesting analysis to me. I've failed to make a note of who sent it. Anyone know?

Here are some "phonoemotional profiles" of the words provided in response to your various prompts, which are listed at the beginning of each table.

(1) There are 8 emotional categories of phoneme: Pleasant, Cheerful, Active, Nasty, Unpleasant, Sad, Passive, and Soft.
(2) These are arranged in order (clockwise) at equal intervals around a clock rim. They represent an emotional cartesian space with Pleasantness and Activation as the axes. Some phonemes belong to more than one adjacent category (see Table at end).
(3) The number of "x" marks indicates how much category was used in comparison to normal English. Each column represents a z score, each unit is .1z (one tenth of a standard deviation).
(4) The "." indicates the normal English usage for each category of phoneme. Here z=0.
(5) A statistically significant difference for this data set would be one where there is a difference of 2 or more "x" marks (2 standard errors).

I will go through one example in some detail:

Profile of: Stormy Sky

Pleas xxxx .
Cheer xxx .
Activ xxxxx.x
Nasty xxxxx.x
Unpls xxxxx.xx
Sad - xxxxx.xxx
Passv xxxxx.x
Soft- xxxx .

This is the profile for words invented to describe a stormy sky. Two types of phonemes (unpleasant, sad) were used at significantly greater than normal rates: both of these have at least two "x" marks beyond the "." One type of phoneme (cheerful) was used at significantly less than normal rates which is two "x" marks below the "." We can also conclude that passive phonemes were used more often than soft ones (the difference is two "x" marks in size), and that sad phonemes were used more often than any other kind except unpleasant ones (same logic).
The peak emotion is easy to spot - it is sadness. The trough emotion is cheerfulness, which makes sense because these would be at opposite locations on the emotional clock.

Following are the 9 profiles and the list of phonemes in a table that explains category assignments.

Profile of: Scraping burnt stuff off toast

Pleas xx .
Cheer xxx .
Activ xxxxx.xx
Nasty xxxxx.xxx
Unpls xxxxx.xxxx
Sad-- xxx .
Passv x .
Soft- xx .


Profile of: Dragging a heavy object to Water

Pleas xxxx .
Cheer xxx .
Activ xxxxx.xx
Nasty xxxxx.x
Unpls xxxxx.
Sad-- xxxxx.xx
Passv xxxxx.
Soft- xxxx .


Profile of: Swarming Mosquitos

Pleas xxxxx.x
Cheer xxxxx.
Activ xxxxx.xx
Nasty xxxxx.
Unpls xxxx .
Sad-- xxx .
Passv xxxx .
Soft- xxxxx.x


Profile of: Hedgehog

Pleas xxx .
Cheer xxxx .
Activ xxxxx.xxx
Nasty xxxxx.xxxx
Unpls xxxxx.xxx
Sad - xxx .
Passv xxxxx.
Soft- xxx .


Profile of: Rollercoaster

Pleas xxxx .
Cheer xxxx .
Activ xxxxx.xx
Nasty xxxxx.x
Unpls xxxx .
Sad - xxxx .
Passv xxxx .
Soft- xxxx .


Profile of: Stormy Sky

Pleas xxxx .
Cheer xxx .
Activ xxxxx.x
Nasty xxxxx.x
Unpls xxxxx.xx
Sad - xxxxx.xxx
Passv xxxxx.x
Soft- xxxx .


Profile of: Paper Cutter

Pleas xxx .
Cheer xxxx .
Activ xxxxx.xxxx
Nasty xxxxx.xxxx
Unpls xxxxx.x
Sad - xxx .
Passv xxx .
Soft- xx .


Profile of: Pollen on Leaves

Pleas xxxxx.
Cheer xxxxx.x
Activ xxxxx.xx
Nasty xxxx .
Unpls xxx .
Sad - xxxxx.
Passv xxxx .
Soft- xxxxx.


Profile of: Brush Knobs

Pleas xxxxx.
Cheer xxx .
Activ xxxxx.x
Nasty xxxxx.
Unpls xxxxx.x
Sad - xxxxx.xx
Passv xxxxx.
Soft- xxxx .

Table 1: The distribution of phonemes across the eight categories of emotional space, with 'X' indicating the central point for each phoneme and 'o' indicating additional categories associated with that phoneme.

PHONEME PLS* CH ACT NA UNP SA PSS SO

eh gE t . o . . . . o X
z Z oo o . . . . . o X
l L augh o . . . . o o X o
ao lAW n . . . . . . o X o
m M at . . . . . . o X o
ae fA t . . . . . . X .
ah bU t . . . . . . X .
dh TH at . . . . . o X o
n N ut . . . . . o X o .
aw hOW . . . . o X o .
ow lO ne . . . . o X o .
b B ut . . . . o X o . .
k K it . . . o o X . o .
d D ime . . . o o X o o .
r R at . . o X o . . .
t T ub . . o X o . . .
g G oat . . o X o . . . .
p P at . . o X o . . . .
sh SH ip . . o X o . . . .
uw fOO l . . o X o . . . .
er murdER . o X o . . . .
ih bI t . o X o . . . .
ng siNG . o X o . . . .
oy tOY . o X o . . . .
aa fA ther . o X o . . . . .
ch CH air . o X o . . . . .
f F ork . o X o . . . . .
j J ar . o X o . . . . .
uh fU ll o X o . . . . . .
w W et o X o . . . . . .
ay hI de X o . . . . . o
iy bEA t X o . . . . . o
th TH ump X o . . . . . o
v V et X o . . . . . o


Unclassified: ax ey h s wh y zh


In order, the columns represent PLEASANT PHONEMES, CHEERFUL ONES, ACTIVE ONES, NASTY ONES, UNPLEASANT ONES, SAD ONES, PASSIVE ONES, AND SOFT ONES.