One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Attribution of common elements of meaning or connotation to certain sound sequences, especially consonant clusters, for example initial sl-, as in slow, sleep, slush, slide, slip.
- ‘Phonaesthesia has been described as a type of conventional sound symbolism.’
- ‘Phonaesthesia occurs when certain sounds become associated with certain meanings, even though they do not attempt to imitate the sound (as in onomatopoeia).’
1950s: modern Latin, from Greek phōnē ‘sound’ + aesthesthai ‘perceive’.
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