Phonetic symbolism and feeling of knowing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


American subjects matched English antonym pairs with antonym pairs from Thai, Kannada, and Yoruba. For each match they also,indicated their degree of feeling of knowing (FOK). Although translation accuracy was in general better than chance, suggesting universal phonetic symbolism, it was found to vary considerably with the subject's FOK ratings: Translations evoking stronger FOK were more likely to be correct than translations evoking weaker FOK, and matches which proved correct were assigned higher FOK ratings than matches which proved incorrect. Several implications of the finding that subjects can monitor their success in guessing the meaning of words from foreign languages are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-548
Number of pages4
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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