something i emailed to “the straight dope” ~5 years ago

Hi Cecil

What is it called when you can physically feel a sound? I know that seeing a sound is called synaesthesia, and I know one could go as far as to describe any sensory confusion as such, but I’m wondering if there is a specific name for it. For example, when I hear the names Alyssa, Alyssia, Licia, Lyssa or Alicia, there’s something about names in that phonological field that makes me feel weird… I think they sound dirty, sticky, difficult… it actually makes me feel like I have treacle on my hands that I can’t wash off or something. It’s almost unbearable.
This isn’t linked to any traumatic experiences with people of this name, it’s just a strange reaction I have. However, when I hear the names Lucien, Lux, Luke, Luciano and Lucio, I feel happy and think the names conjur up images of light and amazement. Like it’s sunny outside, even if it’s raining. 
Is this an etymological issue, or is it more a neurological thing?
Thanks Cecil! 
Sian Sofia x

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