Alice’s adventures through the Looking Glass includes some playful forays into the nature of speech. When Alice meets Humpty Dumpty, their conversation explores the nature of words and meaning of sounds.
Can a two-word phrase like Humpty Dumpty evoke his “handsome shape” better than some other random collection of sounds? This is a philosophical question that dates back to Greek philosophers such as Plato (around 450 BCE). In the past, scientists assumed words were arbitrary and that there was no innate meaning in sounds. But more and more researchers now think that Humpty may have been right…
This is yours and your children’s chance to add to the research and discover if sounds really can suggest shapes. The aim of this creative exercise is to draw the shape of your name. If you follow the directions and tips below it will be fun and easy!
Say your name out loud and repeat it a few times. What shape is your name? Once you have identified the shape of your name’s sound, draw it. (Follow the tips below if you need…)
1. Think about each letter of your name. For example, Alice: A L I C E
2. Think about shapes.
3. Notice the shape your lips make as your articulate the sounds.
4. Choose the shapes for each letter sound and start to put them together.
6. Draw the shape of your name.