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In a brief discussion of correspondences, the painter Gyorgy Kepes quotes Franz Boas’ 1938 book General Anthropology.

    “Most of us will feel that a high pitch and exaggerated length, perhaps also the vowel i (English ee) indicate smallness, while low pitch and length and the vowels a, o, u (English oo) indicate large size...Large or small size, or intensity may be expressed by variations of sound. Thus Nez Perce, and Indian language spoken in Idaho, changes n to l to indicate smallness; Dakota has many words in which s changes to sh, or z or j, indicating greater intensity...Undoubtedly the particular kind of synesthesia between sound, sight and touch has played its role in the growth of language.”

Gyorgy Kepes Language of Vision 1944, 167

Copyright 1998–2001 Fred Collopy. This document was last updated on 10/13/01; it is located at