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ogical acoustics, Gaver (1993b) distinguished between the
experience of musical listening (perceiving sounds) and everyday
listening (perceiving sources of sounds). Within the everyday
listening experience, Gaver (1993a) proposed that the frequency
of an object results from, and therefore specifies, the size of that
object. The relation in which frequency and object size stand to
one another is an example of a nomic mapping. A symbolic
mapping involves the pairing of unrelated dimensions and, relative
to a nomic mapping, requires an additional step in recognition and
learning. Using a perceptual identification task, an experiment
investigated the hypothesis that nomic mappings are identified
more easily than symbolic mappings. It was predicted that the
advantage manifests only during the everyday listening
experience, and that the initially superior recognition of nomic
mappings is equaled by symbolic mappings after extended
exposure. The results provided support for the hypotheses.
Theoretical implications of the differential recognition of nomic and
symbolic mappings are discussed, together with practical
applications of nomic relations.