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"The First Words" -New Scientist 16/07/2011


James
(@james)
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An article in New Scientist dated 16th July 2011 entitled 'The First Words - Humankind's earliest language is still etched on our brains.'

Nearly 100 years of linguistics research has been based on the assumption that words are just a collection of sounds - an agreed acoustic representation that has little to do with their actual meaning. There should be nothing in nonsense words such as "Humpty Dumpty" that would give away the character's egg-like figure, any more than someone with no knowledge of English could be expected to infer that the word 'rose' represents a sweet-smelling flower.

Yet a spate of recent studies challenge this idea. They suggest that we seem instinctively to link certain sounds with particular sensory perceptions. Some words really do evoke Humpty's "handsome" rotundity. Others might bring to mind a spiky appearance, a bitter taste, or a sense of swift movement.

Although no surprise to the poets amongst us; I thought this article might prove interesting with its implications for the language used in invocations and evocations.

Regards

Jamie


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