Sense-O-Nary: Exploring Children's Crossmodal Metaphors Through Playful Crossmodal Interactions

Roberts-Morgan, Tegan Joy, Morris, Brooke, Czech, Elaine, Neema, Suhan, Stangl, Abigale, Keane, Kyle Michael, Horton, Matthew Paul leslie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2932-2233, Read, Janet C orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7138-1643 and Metatla, Oussama (2024) Sense-O-Nary: Exploring Children's Crossmodal Metaphors Through Playful Crossmodal Interactions. In: 23rd Annual ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference, 17-20 June 2024, Delft, Netherlands.

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Metaphors enrich language by allowing us to express complex ideas through familiar concepts, enhancing both understanding and creativity in communication. Crossmodal metaphors are metaphors where one sensory modality is understood in terms of another (e.g, a sharp smell). Crossmodality is an integral part of how we make sense of and create meaning about the world. However, there is a lack of research on how children generate crossmodal metaphors and the interpretation of such metaphors. We present Sense-O-Nary, a game we designed to explore how children react when asked to create crossmodal metaphors in a novel environment. Children are presented with one sensory input and then asked to describe it using a different sense, for another team to guess what the original sensory input is. We engaged children (n=65, aged 8-10) to play this crossmodal metaphor generation game. We qualitatively analysed children’s exchange of crossmodal metaphors to define a set of crossmodal association strategies and then use this to categorise the metaphors they created. We discuss how engaging with crossmodal metaphors can enhance children’s linguistic development and how our findings can inform the design of interactions that involve multiple senses.

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