Conceptual structuring in ideophones: a sorting task

The pile sort is a technique to discover how people conceptualize and classify items in a certain domain. Subjects sort a set of items into piles, and data from several subjects is then pooled for statistical analysis. In the task described in this chapter, 14 literate speakers of Siwu sorted 58 ideophone cards by similarity in meaning. The results of this pile sorting task provide us with a window on the semantic-conceptual structure of the domain of ideophones.