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12 December 2011

Vowels Control Your Brain

This post is for the Middle Primary Class at ISOCS, which is investigating poetry.  Poetry is made of words and sounds, so I thought the class might be interested in the thoughts expressed in a blog post I read this morning:

A few days ago, Robert Kulrich of National Public Radio in the USA wrote a column titled "Vowels Control Your Brain". "Here's something you should know about yourself. Vowels control your brain...OK, here's the weird part.  When comparing words across language groups, says Stanford linguistics professor Dan Jurafsky, a curious pattern shows up: Words with front vowels ("I" and "E") tend to represent small, thin, light things.  Back vowels ("O" "U" and some "A"s ) show up in fat, heavy things...."  The post explores research about this idea, and gives some interesting examples. Click here to go to read the full story.  I think it's especially interesting when thinking about poetry.  What words would we choose to write about "thin light things"?  about "fat heavy things"?  Do your choices support the research described in Mr. Kulrich's blog post?

Screen shot from http://n.pr/rrLsj6