jess tauber phonosemantics at
Fri Oct 29 20:47:18 UTC 2010

It would be interesting to know whether parrots or other imitating birds can deal with human phonosemantic trends. Say, train them in a language with huge numbers of transparent ideophones (for ex. a Gbaya dialect) but minimal derivation and inflection. See how they do. Or conversely, use a heavily polysynthetic language where there is little such iconic transparency. Could they handle it? Would they fare differently with languages of different morphosyntactic typology?

Or we could look at differently quantized phonological systems- something with a minimal set but lots of surface variation depending on local context, or maximal with minimal variation (Ubykh? !Kung?).

Jess Tauber
phonosemantics at

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