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Abstract

Abstract

Verbal synesthesia is generally considered to be a special type of metaphor involving concepts stemming from distinct sensory domains. However, with the upsurge of metonymy research some authors have proposed a metonymic motivation for synesthetic expressions. In line with these proposals, I argue in my paper that (i) a considerable portion of synesthetic expressions are in fact metonymic and (ii) they are based either on co-occurrence or on an intra-modal resemblance of sensory stimuli. Since olfaction offers itself as an ideal terrain to study synaesthetic expressions due to its relatively poor lexicalization in most languages, in order to test my hypotheses, I present the results of a corpus study on German synesthetic attribute-noun constructions combining gustatory adjectives with olfactory nouns. My results suggest that the heterogeneity of verbal synesthesia regarding its conceptual background cannot be grasped simply by proposing that it is a metaphorical phenomenon.

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2023-05-23
2024-04-16
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: synesthesia ; metaphor ; smell ; olfaction ; gustation ; metonymy ; taste
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