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Relating Multilingual Semantic Scales to a Common Timbre Space

A single, common perceptual space for a small set of processed guitar timbres was derived for two groups of listeners, one group comprising native speakers of the Japanese language, the other group comprising native speakers of Sinhala, a language of Sri Lanka. Subsets of these groups made ratings on 13 bipolar adjective scales for the same set of sounds, each of the two group using anchoring adjectives taken from their native language. The adjectives were those freely chosen most often in a preliminary elicitation. The results showed that the Japanese and Sinhalese semantic scales related differently to the dimensions of their shared timbre space that was derived using MDS analysis of the combined dissimilarity ratings of listeners from both groups.

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