Bodo Winter

Bodo Winter
University of Birmingham · Department of English

PhD, Cognitive Science
UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

About

110
Publications
36,700
Reads
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2,313
Citations
Introduction
UKRI / Future Leader Fellow, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, and Editor-in-Chief at Language and Cognition (Cambridge University Press). Author of the books "Statistics for linguists: an introduction using R" (Routledge)and "Sensory linguistics" (John Benjamins). Co-founder of the Birmingham Statistics for Linguists Summer School. Find me on Twitter: @BodoWinter
Additional affiliations
August 2011 - present
University of California, Merced
Position
  • Research Assistant
Description
  • cogsci.ucmerced.edu
January 2009 - May 2010
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (110)
Article
Full-text available
Linguistic communication requires speakers to mutually agree on the meanings of words, but how does such a system first get off the ground? One solution is to rely on iconic gestures: visual signs whose form directly resembles or otherwise cues their meaning without any previously established correspondence. However, it is debated whether vocalizat...
Article
Quantitative studies in linguistics almost always involve data points that are related to each other, such as multiple data points from the same participant, multiple texts from the same book, author, genre, or register, or multiple languages from the same language family. Statistical procedures that fail to account for the relatedness of observati...
Article
The widely cited frequency code hypothesis attempts to explain a diverse range of communicative phenomena through the acoustic projection of body size. The set of phenomena includes size sound symbolism (using /i/ to signal smallness in words such as teeny ), intonational phonology (using rising contours to signal questions) and the indexing of soc...
Article
Full-text available
Count data is prevalent in many different areas of linguistics, such as when counting words, syntactic constructions, discourse particles, case markers, or speech errors. The Poisson distribution is the canonical distribution for characterising count data with no or unknown upper bound. Given the prevalence of count data in linguistics, Poisson reg...
Article
Full-text available
Critical discourse analysis (CDA) increasingly recognises the role played by multiple semiotic modes in the discursive construction of social identities and inequalities. One embodied mode that has not been subject to any systematic analysis within CDA is gesture. An area where gesture has been extensively studied, and where it is shown to bear sig...
Article
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Research on problem solving offers insights into how humans process task-related information and which strategies they use (Newell and Simon, 1972; Öllinger et al., 2014). Problem solving can be defined as the search for possible changes in one's mind (Kahneman, 2003). In a recent study, Adams et al. (2021) assessed whether the predominant problem...
Article
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Focus is known to be expressed by a wide range of phonetic cues but only a few studies have explicitly compared different phonetic variables within the same experiment. Therefore, we presented results from an analysis of 19 phonetic variables conducted on a data set of the German language that comprises the opposition of unaccented (background) vs....
Article
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This paper explores the politeness-related functions of an ingressive hissing-like sound that occurs frequently in Korean and which is typically transcribed as ssup. This nonverbal sound is produced by drawing air alongside the tongue or between the teeth and may appear either before the production of a turn, or during turn production. Previous stu...
Article
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Cross-modal integration between sound and texture is important to perception and action. Here we show this has repercussions for the structure of spoken languages. We present a new statistical universal linking speech with the evolutionarily ancient sense of touch. Words that express roughness—the primary perceptual dimension of texture—are highly...
Article
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The bouba/kiki effect—the association of the nonce word bouba with a round shape and kiki with a spiky shape—is a type of correspondence between speech sounds and visual properties with potentially deep implications for the evolution of spoken language. However, there is debate over the robustness of the effect across cultures and the influence of...
Article
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The distinction between abstract and concrete concepts is fundamental to cognitive linguistics and cognitive science. This distinction is commonly operationalized through concreteness ratings based on the aggregated judgments of many people. What is often overlooked in experimental studies using this operationalization is that ratings are attribute...
Article
This paper investigates how politeness-related social meanings are indexed verbally and nonverbally. We focus on the contrast between “doing deference” and “performing intimacy” in Korean. We asked Korean students to perform a sequence of tasks, once to a professor (deferential condition) and once to a close friend (intimate condition) and analysed...
Preprint
Metaphors and other tropes are commonly thought to reflect asymmetries in concreteness, with concrete sources being used to talk about relatively more abstract targets synchronically. Similarly, originating senses in diachronic semantic change have often been argued to be more concrete than extended senses. In this paper, we use a dataset of cross-...
Article
Full-text available
Experimental and cross-linguistic evidence suggests that certain speech sounds are associated with size, especially high front vowels with ‘small’ and low back vowels with ‘large’. However, empirical evidence that speech sounds are statistically associated with magnitude across words within a language has been mixed and open to methodological criti...
Article
Many metaphors in language reflect conceptual metaphors that structure thought. In line with metaphorical expressions such as 'high number', experiments show that people associate larger numbers with upward space. Consistent with this metaphor, high numbers are conventionally depicted in high positions on the y-axis of line graphs. People also asso...
Preprint
Count data is prevalent in many different areas of linguistics, such as when counting words, syntactic constructions, discourse particles, case markers, or speech errors. The Poisson distribution is the canonical distribution for characterizing count data with no or unknown upper bound. Whereas logistic regression is very common in linguistics, Poi...
Article
This paper reviews recent research using participant ratings to measure the iconicity (form-meaning resemblance) of words and signs. This method, by enabling wide coverage of lexical items and cross-linguistic comparison, has revealed systematic patterns in how iconicity is distributed across the vocabularies of different languages. These findings...
Article
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We report a large-scale, quantitative investigation of manual gestures that speakers perform when speaking metaphorically about numerical quantities. We used the TV News Archive-an online database of over 2 million English language news broadcasts-to examine 681 videos in which 584 speakers used the phrase 'tiny number', 'small number', 'large numb...
Article
Full-text available
Embodied approaches to cognition see abstract thought and language as grounded in interactions between mind, body, and world. A particularly important challenge for embodied approaches to cognition is mathematics, perhaps the most abstract domain of human knowledge. Conceptual metaphor theory, a branch of cognitive linguistics, describes how abstra...
Article
English speakers use vertical language to talk about power, such as when speaking of people being “at the bottom of the social hierarchy” or “rising to the top.” Experimental research has shown that people automatically associate higher spatial positions with more powerful social groups, such as doctors and army generals, compared to lower spatial...
Article
Time and space have been shown to be interlinked in people's minds. To what extent can co-speech gestures influence thinking about time, over and above spoken language? In this study, we use the ambiguous question "Next Wednesday's meeting has been moved forward two days, what day is it on now?" to show that people either respond "Monday" or "Frida...
Preprint
Full-text available
Time and space have been shown to be interlinked in people's minds. To what extent can co-speech gestures influence thinking about time, over and above spoken language? In this study, we use the ambiguous question "Next Wednesday's meeting has been moved forward two days, what day is it on now?" to show that people either respond "Monday" or "Frida...
Article
Full-text available
A sequence of spoken digits is easier to recall if the digits are grouped into smaller chunks (e.g., through the insertion of pauses). It has been claimed that intonation does not facilitate recall over and above the effect achieved by pauses. This may be related to the fact that past research has used synthesized intonation contours. In this repli...
Article
Pragmatic meanings are not only conveyed through words alone, but also through how words are produced phonetically. The current study investigated phonetic features that characterize the distinction between deferential and non-deferential speech style in Japanese. The Japanese data were then compared to previously published Korean data collected th...
Article
Full-text available
An increasing number of studies reveal crossmodal correspondences between speech sounds and perceptual features such as shape and size. In this study, we show that an interjection Koreans produce when downing a shot of liquor reliably triggers crossmodal associations in American English, German, Spanish, and Chinese listeners who do not speak Korea...
Article
Full-text available
Social meaning is not conveyed through words alone, but also through how words are produced phonetically. This paper investigates the role of loudness and pitch in determining the perception of politeness-related judgments in Korean. It has been proposed that high pitch is universally associated with polite or deferential social meanings. In contra...
Article
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This special issue introduces a series of papers that make available new methods to the phonetic and linguistic community and reflect upon existing data analysis practices. In our introduction, we highlight three themes that we consider pressing issues in data analysis and that run across the contributions to this special issue: the difference betw...
Article
This study investigates the nonverbal behaviors used in two interconnected relational practices in Korean: “doing deference” towards status superiors and “performing intimacy” towards status equals. We extracted 154 interactions from Korean televised dramas that represented these two relational practices, and annotated the data for various nonverba...
Article
Full-text available
Speakers frequently perform representational gestures to depict concepts in an iconic fashion. For example, a speaker may hold her index finger and thumb apart to indicate the size of a matchstick. However, the process by which a physical handshape is mentally transformed into abstract spatial information is not well understood. We present a series...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that abstract concepts are often conceptualized along horizontal and vertical axes. However, there are mixed results concerning which axis is preferred for which type of conceptual domain. For instance, it has been suggested that the vertical axis may be preferred for quantity in tasks using linguistic stimuli (e.g., ‘more,’ ‘les...
Preprint
Full-text available
One important feature of linguistic communication is that some parts of utterances are more prominent than others. Prominence as a perceptual feature of spoken language is influenced by many different linguistic variables, but it is not clear how these variables interact in perception and which variables are most important for determining prominenc...
Article
is language? We show that abstractness pervades every corner of language, going far beyond the usual examples of freedom and justice . In the light of the ubiquity of abstract words, the need to understand where abstract meanings come from becomes ever more acute. We argue that the best source of knowledge about abstract meanings may be language it...
Presentation
Full-text available
We analysed a corpus of 60 advertisements from 16 telecommunication brands, comparing 31 mobile network advertisements to 29 mobile manufacturer advertisements because these two product categories differ in concreteness: one can physically interact with a mobile device, but a network is intangible. Research has found that communication networks are...
Article
Researchers have suggested that the vocabularies of languages are oriented towards the communicative needs of language users. Here, we provide evidence demonstrating that the higher frequency of visual words in a large variety of English corpora is reflected in greater lexical differentiation-a greater number of unique words-for the visual domain i...
Article
It is known that courtroom decisions can be influenced by subtle psychological biases, such as asking leading questions. Informed by metaphor research on the connection between spatial proximity and intimacy (e.g., ‘we are close’, ‘their views are far apart’), this paper reports four experiments that look at the potential role of psychological bias...
Article
Full-text available
Computers are now able to automatically generate metaphors, but some automatically generated metaphors are more well received than others. In this article, we showed participants a series of “A is B” type metaphors that were either generated by humans or taken from the Twitter account “MetaphorIsMyBusiness” (@MetaphorMagnet), which is linked to a f...
Article
Being able to talk about what humans perceive with their senses is one of the fundamental capacities of language. But how do languages encode perceptual information? In this paper, we analyze how experiences from different senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) are encoded differentially across lexical categories (nouns, verbs, adjectives)...
Preprint
is language? We show that abstractness pervades every corner of language, going far beyond the usual examples of freedom and justice. In light of the ubiquity of abstract words, the need to understand where abstract meanings come from becomes ever more acute. We argue that the best source of knowledge about abstract meanings may be language itself....
Article
Full-text available
Some spoken words are iconic, exhibiting a resemblance between form and meaning. We used native speaker ratings to assess the iconicity of 3001 English words, analyzing their iconicity in relation to part-of-speech differences and differences between the sensory domain they relate to (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell). First, we replicated prev...
Article
Iconicity - the correspondence between form and meaning - may help young children learn to use new words. Early-learned words are higher in iconicity than later learned words. However, it remains unclear what role iconicity may play in actual language use. Here, we ask whether iconicity relates not just to the age at which words are acquired, but a...
Article
Politeness is a vital aspect of everyday life that is receiving increased attention in sociophonetic research. The current study investigated how deferential and intimate stances, examples of politeness-related expressions, are conveyed by phonetic cues in Korean. Previously, we found that Korean listeners can distinguish these stances based on spe...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates interspeaker variation in the mid and low short vowels of Jewish Montreal English, analyzing the Canadian Shift in both production and perception. In production, we find that young women are leading in the retraction of /æ/ and the lowering and retraction of /ε/. We furthermore find that across speakers, the retraction of /æ...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we analyze single-handed hold gestures that convey the height or the shape of an object ('height gestures' and 'shape gestures'). The analyses include (1) differentiating which parts of the hands are profiled in each gesture, (2) considering whether these parts are occluded by other fingers, and (3) deriving predictions from (1) and...
Article
In brain and behaviour, gustation, and olfaction are closely linked to emotional processing. This paper shows that similarly, words associated with taste and smell, such as “pungent” and “delicious”, are on average more emotionally valenced than words associated with the other senses, such as “beige” (visual) and “echoing” (auditory). Moreover, tas...
Article
The sound system of a language must be able to support a perceptual contrast between different words in order to signal communicatively relevant meaning distinctions. In this paper, we use a simple agent-based exemplar model in which the evolution of sound-category systems is understood as a co-evolutionary process, where the range of variation wit...
Article
Full-text available
When doing empirical studies in the field of language evolution, change over time is an inherent dimension. This tutorial introduces readers to mixed models, Growth Curve Analysis (GCA) and Generalized Additive Models (GAMs). These approaches are ideal for analyzing non-linear change over time where there are nested dependencies, such as time point...
Article
The notion that there may be causal connections between the environment and language structure has long been in disrepute. In part, this is due to earlier connections to racist ideologies. And in part, this is due to the more recent Chomskyan tradition, which sees language as an autonomous and innate faculty. Within the domain of phonology, the gen...
Article
A large number of experimental findings from neuroscience and experimental psychology demonstrated interactions between spatial cognition and numerical cognition. In particular, many researchers posited a horizontal mental number line, where small numbers are thought of as being to the left of larger numbers. This review synthesizes work on the men...
Article
Degeneracy is a word with two meanings. The popular usage of the word denotes deviance and decay. In scientific discourse, degeneracy refers to the idea that different pathways can lead to the same output. In the biological sciences, the concept of degeneracy has been ignored for a few key reasons. Firstly, the word "degenerate" in popular culture...
Article
Space, time and number are fundamental to how we act within and reason about the world. These three experiential domains are systematically intertwined in behavior, language, and the brain. Two main theories have attempted to account for cross-domain interactions. A Theory of Magnitude (ATOM) posits a domain-general magnitude system. Conceptual Met...
Article
As with biological systems, spoken languages are strikingly robust against perturbations. This paper shows that languages achieve robustness in a way that is highly similar to many biological systems. For example, speech sounds are encoded via multiple acoustically diverse, temporally distributed and functionally redundant cues, characteristics tha...
Article
Full-text available
Horror movies consistently reflect metaphorical associations between verticality and affect, as well as between brightness and affect. For example, bad events happen when movie characters are going downwards, or when lights go off. Monsters and villains emerge from below and from the darkness. And protagonists get lost and stuck in dark underground...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research using eye-tracking typically relies on constrained visual contexts in particular goal-oriented contexts, viewing a small array of objects on a computer screen and performing some overt decision or identification. Eyetracking paradigms that use pictures as a measure of word or sentence comprehension are sometimes touted as ecological...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research using eye-tracking typically relies on constrained visual contexts in particular goal-oriented contexts, viewing a small array of objects on a computer screen and performing some overt decision or identification. Eyetracking paradigms that use pictures as a measure of word or sentence comprehension are sometimes touted as ecological...
Conference Paper
Language is incredibly robust. Humans are able to talk to one another despite noise, and despite variation within and between speakers. In this synthetic paper, I will draw analogies between robustness in biology and robustness in language. Focusing on speech as both a phonetic and a phonological entity, I will show that some of the same ways in wh...
Article
Full-text available
In languages such as Japanese or Korean, most research on politeness focuses on morphological and lexical honorifics. Here, we ask whether listeners can perceive the intended honorific level of Korean utterances even in the absence of explicit verbal markers, and whether these phonetic cues are available cross-linguistically. We carried out two per...
Article
Full-text available
It has been claimed that the long established neutralization of the voicing distinction in domain final position in German is phonetically incomplete. However, many studies that have advanced this claim have subsequently been criticized on methodological grounds, calling incomplete neutralization into question. In three production experiments and o...
Article
Full-text available
When they process sentences, language comprehenders activate perceptual and motor representations of described scenes. On the “immersed experiencer” account, comprehenders engage motor and perceptual systems to create experiences that someone participating in the described scene would have. We tested two predictions of this view. First, the distanc...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines naturally occurring gestures produced in descriptions of numbers and quantities in television newscasts. The results of our analysis show that gestures reveal the metaphorical and spatial nature of numerical thinking. That is, speakers’ hands mimic known spatial mappings between space and quantity, including horizontal mappings...
Article
Politeness is a crucial aspect of everyday speech communication; however, there are to date only few acoustic studies on this topic. Winter and Grawunder (2012) showed that for Korean speakers, politeness is reflected in pitch, intensity, voice quality and speaking rate. Here, we extend this production study by investigating whether Korean and Engl...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we investigate the conceptual structure of the metaphor SIMILARITY IS PROXIMITY. The results of four experiments suggest a tight mental link between similarity and proximity. Two experiments revealed that people judge entities to be more similar to each other when they are placed closely in space, while two other experiments showed t...
Article
Full-text available
This text is a conceptual introduction to mixed effects modeling with linguistic applications, using the R programming environment. The reader is introduced to linear modeling and assumptions, as well as to mixed effects/multilevel modeling, including a discussion of random intercepts, random slopes and likelihood ratio tests. The example used thro...