Tactile sensation and onomatopoeia in Japanese


This paper explores words of tactile perception in Japanese investigated by using an elicitation task. Japanese language contains a lot of onomatopoeic words and has been focused on its expressiveness. On the other hand, their accuracy in haptic domain has not been often discussed. To examine the role of onomatopoeic words in tactile expression, I have used a task developed by MPI language and perception project (Majid and Levinson 2007) using a texture booklet contains ten different textures. The investigation has been held in a small village among mountains. The equality of their way of life is helpful to avoid over-generalization. Consequently, the number of texture onomatopoeic words is not enough to express tactile sensation accurately: one forth of the token contains onomatopoeic words in contrast to half of expression to try to guess the source in detail. Some onomatopoeic words are used to express more than one stimulus.

Back to Table of Contents