In linguistics, synesthesia refers to lexical expressions for perceptual experience of one sense associated with another, such as ‘warm color’, which is often treated as metaphor. Previous studies of synesthetic metaphor are mostly based on Indo-European languages. This paper investigates linguistic synesthesia in Korean, focusing on compound words that have not been explored in the field. Synesthetic compounds were collected from Korean WordNet and a comprehensive Korean dictionary. The results show that synesthesia in Korean compounds supports the directionality of sensory transfer in the synesthetic hierarchy established for Indo-European languages. Simultaneously, Korean compound synesthesia exhibits particularities. Vision is maximized as a source, and neither olfaction nor audition serves as a source. The findings of the study are comparable to those of previous studies, providing further support for modality exclusivity-based results. In addition, this study shows differences between phrase-level and lexical-level tendencies of linguistic synesthesia in the same register in Korean.
2. Previous studies
5. General discussion