SRPP: Pokémonastics – what we are doing and why we are doing it

Shigeto Kawahara (Keio University, Tokyo)
30 avril 2021, 10h0011h30

Sound symbolism—systematic associations between sounds and meanings—had not been a topic that was actively explored in the generative tradition. In my recent research, however, I argue that formal phonology can benefit from perspectives and insights offered by research on sound symbolism, and vice versa. In this talk, I illustrate this thesis based on a new research paradigm, dubbed “Pokémonastics” (Kawahara et al. 2018; Shih et al. 2019), in which researchers explore the nature of sound symbolism in human languages using Pokémon names. In this talk, I am going to review (1) how Pokémonastics began, (2) why it is a useful research strategy, (3) what we have found so far, and (4) what more needs to be done.