58% Interest + 25% Confusion +8 Awe + 8% Realization
February 13, 2019 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Here's an interactive map of the 2,032 sounds humans use to communicate without words. Based on new research [PDF] that found brief vocal bursts can convey at least 24 distinct kinds of emotion. Previous studies had estimated the number at around 13.
posted by not_the_water (25 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite
*simian grunt*
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:42 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]

posted by gwint at 1:42 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]

this is really cool and also the autoplaying sounds of "Desire" and "Ecstacy" when you hover over them are making me laugh like a 12-y-o
posted by JauntyFedora at 1:57 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]

Adoration == me at every dog I see💗🐶
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:06 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]

Here's an interactive map of the 2,032 sounds humans use to communicate without words
Actually this is an interactive map (very interesting of itself) of the 2032 sounds American English speakers use to communicate without words.
A study that would do this in more than one country and language, would be truly interesting, both regarding possible convergences and divergences.
posted by talos at 2:29 PM on February 13 [18 favorites]

Also it would be interesting if one could do the same map of language vocalizations in different decades
posted by talos at 2:32 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]

Dragging your mouse over the gradients through different emotions is delightful.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:32 PM on February 13

The very first sound I heard reminded me of the old Sim Life game (circa 1994?) where every time your creatures "reproduced" they made a sound that was like "Ooh, Ooh, Ooh la LAaa".

(And then I was trying to remember how much my 10 year old self understood that, and I think I probably just mapped it to Pepe La Pew and his whole thing.)
posted by bleep at 3:04 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]

Oh man I love this very much and I'm enjoying imagining that this crowd of folks is just following me around reacting to things like a greek chorus.
posted by bleep at 3:06 PM on February 13 [9 favorites]

Headphones are recommended at work if you happen to leave the mouse hovering over the 'Desire' region while stepping away from your desk...
posted by flyingfox at 4:08 PM on February 13

This would be great for generating a random set of Windows system sounds
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:11 PM on February 13 [6 favorites]

Huh? means Huh? In every language.
posted by njohnson23 at 5:45 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]

I love how many of these are hard to explain and yet completely unnecessary to explain. Like 1722 in the ecstasy region. I don't know who decided that this particular series of five intonations means "this is just right", but it clearly reads that way.

A few things that seem to be missing: the apathetic "meh", the sassy/contemptuous "mmhmm...", the sarcastic "poor baby" coo, or that sneering noise that kids make when they want to mock someone but can't think of a comeback.

Also, does the "I don't know" noise count as nonverbal? It seems kind of pseudoverbal to me.
posted by dephlogisticated at 5:49 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]

1722 is how we say "That is really fucking good" when our mouths are full of food that is really fucking good
posted by scrowdid at 6:04 PM on February 13

the sarcastic "poor baby" coo

This isn't strictly relevant, as it's verbal; but I love the ever-so-British "oh, dear" version of that. There's a wonderfully dry, unsympathetic eye-roll undertone to it that I can't quite master.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:22 PM on February 13

I dunno, everything sounds like sex noises to me. "Contempt" sounds like goths having sex on top of a pile of Camus books.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:59 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]

Heh somewhere in the field I heard one in which the vocal burst is followed by a parakeet tweeting. So, it's not only human sounds that were sampled.

i think the bird was saying "more seeds"
posted by not_on_display at 10:50 PM on February 13

This is terribly cool. Thanks for posting it.

My first thought was the same as talos’ - how does this hold up across cultures? They addressed this partially (some of the sound samples were recorded in India, Singapore, and one other place IIRC) but I think a more fully cross cultural design would be better. They used Amazon Mechanical Turk for the judgments so I’m not 100% sure why they didn’t do this (it’s not my field so maybe there’s something obvious I’m missing).
posted by eirias at 5:13 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]

Tag urself. I'm 1000.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:43 AM on February 14

Wait, I just heard 1995. Now I can't decide.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:45 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]

That is genius, the structure is really interesting. I like that sympathy ended up in the middle, and the confusion, interest, realisation, awe, surprise, fear archipelago is maybe obvious but seemed revelatory to me. I think the little surprised realisation island is my favourite.

I really hope this does lead to a much larger study.
posted by lucidium at 9:25 AM on February 14

This is so cool! I really like that the map shows the sounds sorted in the 24 categories as decided on by people *perceiving* the sounds.
posted by nicodine at 6:17 AM on February 15

Okay the origins of 1722 are really going to bug me. I thought it was Samuel L Jackson eating the burger in pulp fiction, but he doesn't do it there.
posted by lucidium at 8:33 AM on February 15




posted by "mad dan" eccles at 9:34 AM on February 15

I would be very interested in a Swedish version of this. They do a lot with 'AAA' vowels.

Ja, ha?
Ja! Hah.
posted by anthill at 12:37 AM on February 17

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