from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A sound that, because it appears in a number of words of similar meaning, has a recognizable semantic association.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Householder credits J.R. Firth with the term phonestheme, which a number of us who developed the theme in the '40s and' 50s adopted; one could generalize the discipline as phonesthematics, I suppose.
The word phonestheme is, of course, a blending of phoneme and esthetic, indicating quite elegantly the tendency of certain sounds to acquire esthetic or emotional connotations.
About 30 such word constellations in a corpus of 350+ Siwu ideophones (with on average 2 members) 71 out of 353 ideophones (about 20%) partake in this kind of phonestheme networks
Webster's Third defines phonestheme as "the common feature of sound occurring in a group of symbolic words."