Relationships between auditory impressions and onomatopoeic features for environmental sounds

Masayuki Takada, Kazuhiko Tanaka, Shin Ichiro Iwamiya

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    In order to clarify the features of environmental sounds, psychoacoustical experiments using onomatopoeic representations were conducted. The onomatopoeic representations obtained for each sound and participant were expressed using phonetic parameters, such as place, manner of articulation, and vowels. Onomatopoeic representations were classified based on similarities of phonetic parameters using a hierarchical cluster analysis. As a result, similar acoustic properties were identified in the stimuli expressed by onomatopoeic representations classified into the same clusters. Furthermore, the auditory impressions associated with stimuli were measured by a semantic differential method using 13 adjective pairs. Factor analysis was applied to the average ratings for each sound for each scale. The three factors obtained were the emotion factor, the clearness factor, and the powerfulness factor. From these results, the relationships among the acoustic properties of sound stimuli, the impressions associated with them, and their onomatopoeic features were discussed. For example, onomatopoeic representations including voiced consonants were frequently used for sounds displaying components in the frequency region below about 1 kHz in their spectrum, inducing "powerfulness" and "darkness, dullness, and muddiness"" impressions. Furthermore, similar relationships were found in supplementary experiments using various band noises.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)67-79
    Number of pages13
    JournalAcoustical Science and Technology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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