Bouba/Kiki effect

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Bouba/Kiki effect

An effect first observed by Wolfgang Köhler that speech sounds map to the visual shape of objects, such that jagged shapes would be equated to hard consonants (e.g., kiki or takete) and bulbous or rounded shapes to softer consonants (e.g., bouba or baluba). The effect suggests that the naming of objects in a language’s evolution was not arbitrary and may have carried symbolism.