Call for Papers: Special Issue on Iconicity and Sound Symbolism

To the original calls:
JASA Express Letters

Call for Papers

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) and JASA Express Letters are calling for papers for a joint Special Issue on “Iconicity and Sound Symbolism.”

In sound symbolism, the relationship between a sound and its meaning is established by a (physical) resemblance between the sound and its intended meaning. Sound symbolism can involve abstract phonological categories, but the scope of iconicity — of which sound symbolism is one example — is much more vast. This Special Issue aims to advance our understanding of the rich and complex nature of sound symbolism.

We invite interdisciplinary contributions that go beyond the investigation of dichotomous phonological categories and embrace sound symbolism as a continuous phenomenon of acoustic and/or articulatory properties in human and non-human communication and their resemblance with all kinds of properties. In broadening the notion of sound symbolism, we hope to open up a wider range of perspectives and innovative approaches to uncover the various sources of sound symbolism.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • The role of sound symbolism in communication
  • Sound symbolism in child-directed speech, or pet-directed speech
  • (Language) learning and sound symbolism
  • Iconic sound symbolism in animal communication
  • Sound symbolism and consumer behavior
  • Perception of iconic acoustic properties
  • Articulatory-acoustic grounds of sound symbolism
  • Cross-linguistically robust acoustic properties and their iconic potential
  • Cross-modal correspondences involving acoustic properties of sounds and their link to all modalities, such as vision, touch, and olfaction

If you have any questions about your intended paper, please email the Guest Editors.

Submission Deadline

  • Deadline for manuscripts is September 30, 2023.

Please note: Accepted papers will be published in the next available regular issue of the selected journal and identified as belonging to this Special Issue. After all papers from both journals have been published for the Special Issue, they will all be listed in a joint online collection on the JASA and JASA Express Letters websites.

Guest Editors:

Aleksandra Ćwiek
Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics, Berlin

Susanne Fuchs*
Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics, Berlin

Jody Kreiman
University of California at Los Angeles, USA

*Liaison Guest Editor


Please note: although there will be a joint online collection, your paper, if accepted, will publish in the journal you chose to submit to.

  1. Please select the journal you will be submitting to and visit the following, where you will find the Information for Contributors for the selected journal and link to this journal’s online submission system:
  2. To ensure your submission is considered for the Special Issue, please do the following:
    • In your manuscript file, before the abstract, please include the following: “This paper is part of a special issue on Iconicity and Sound Symbolism.”
    • When submitting your paper in the selected journal’s online submission system:
      • Select the appropriate article type for your manuscript (see the selected journal’s Information for Contributors for details on article types).

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