The author designed this experiment, ran the Anglo control subjects, interpreted the results, and wrote them up. Dr. Susan Ervin collected data from the Navajo subjects; Dr. Sol Saporta administered the experiment to the Mexican-Spanish subjects; Mr. Hiroshi Azuma obtained data from Japanese subjects and analysed them. Mr. Murray Miron handled the analysis of the data (except for the Japanese) on IBM and ILLIAC. Without the help of these people, for which I am very grateful, this paper could not have been written.
The cross-cultural generality of visual-verbal synesthetic tendencies
Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2007
Copyright © 1960 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 146–169, 1960
How to Cite
Osgood, C. E. (1960), The cross-cultural generality of visual-verbal synesthetic tendencies. Syst. Res., 5: 146–169. doi: 10.1002/bs.3830050204
- Issue online: 17 JAN 2007
- Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2007
- Manuscript Received: 9 MAY 1959
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that the structure of a language influences cognitive behavior is questioned in this study of comparability of experience in different sense modalities. Do the Navajo, like ourselves, see HAPPY as more up and SAD as more down? Do the Japanese, like ourselves, conceive of EXCITEMENT as colorful and CALM as colorless? Do the Navajos and Anglos differ widely in their connotative meanings of the words “blue” and its correlate in Navajo, yet agree closely on their meanings for a specific BLUE color chip? Here is a first attempt to demonstrate that the visualverbal synesthetic relationships characteristic of our own language/culture community are shared by peoples who speak different languages and enjoy different cultures. Perhaps there is a “world view” that is relatively stable despite differences in both language and culture.