1887
image of Things we smell and things they smell like
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

Abstract

The sense of smell has been relatively neglected in the Western research. It is not regarded as particularly useful compared to the perceived importance of senses like sight, sound, and touch. Correspondingly, English speakers are ill-equipped to describe qualities of smells, instead invoking entities that share similar olfactory qualities, e.g. . This raises the question: which odours do English speakers frequently refer to, and which terms describe them? This corpus-driven study looks at nouns in olfactory contexts, and the conceptual domains they fall into. Results show that speakers invoke different smells according to context: when talking about a smell they perceive, when describing a smell, or in a description of another smell, which demonstrates the differential communicative functions of smells. Further analysis shows that smells that are described are more variable than those used as descriptors, and smells being used to describe are more emotional using psychometric norming data.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/ijcl.21028.pou
2022-11-25
2023-02-06
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Allan, K., & Burridge, K.
    (2006) Forbidden Words: Taboo and the Censoring of Language. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511617881
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511617881 [Google Scholar]
  2. Arshamian, A., Gerkin, R. C., Kruspe, N., Wnuk, E., Floyd, S., O’Meara, C., Rodriguez, G. G., Lundström, J. N., Mainland, J. D., & Majid, A.
    (2022) The perception of odor pleasantness is shared across cultures. Current Biology, (), –. 10.1016/j.cub.2022.02.062
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.02.062 [Google Scholar]
  3. Berlin, B., & Kay, P.
    (1969) Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Boisson, C. P.
    (1997) La dénomination des odeurs: Variations et régularités linguistiques [The naming of odours: Linguistic variations and regularities]. Intellectica, (), –. 10.3406/intel.1997.1546
    https://doi.org/10.3406/intel.1997.1546 [Google Scholar]
  5. Brysbaert, M., & New, B.
    (2009) Moving beyond Kučera and Francis: A critical evaluation of current word frequency norms and the introduction of a new and improved word frequency measure for American English. Behavior Research Methods, (), –. 10.3758/BRM.41.4.977
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BRM.41.4.977 [Google Scholar]
  6. Chastrette, M.
    (2002) Classification and structure-odor relationships. InC. Rouby, B. Schaal, D. Dubois, R. Gervais, & A. Holley (Eds.), Olfaction, Taste, and Cognition (pp.–). Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511546389.012
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511546389.012 [Google Scholar]
  7. Chrea, C., Ferdenzi, C., Valentin, D., & Abdi, H.
    (2007) Revisiting the relation between language and cognition: A cross-cultural study with odors. Current Psychology Letters, (), –.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Chrea, C., Valentin, D., Sulmont-Rossé, C., Ly Mai, H., Hoang Nguyen, D., & Abdi, H.
    (2004) Culture and odor categorization: Agreement between cultures depends upon the odors. Food Quality and Preference, (), –. 10.1016/j.foodqual.2003.10.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2003.10.005 [Google Scholar]
  9. Classen, C., Howes, D., & Synnott, A.
    (1994) Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Croijmans, I., & Majid, A.
    (2016) Not all flavor expertise is equal: The language of wine and coffee experts. PLoS ONE, (), –. 10.1371/journal.pone.0155845
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155845 [Google Scholar]
  11. Darwin, C.
    (1889) The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. D. Appleton and Company. 10.5962/bhl.title.106468
    https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.106468 [Google Scholar]
  12. Davies, M.
    (2008–) The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA): One billion words, 1990–2019. https://www.english-corpora.org/coca/
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Dubois, D.
    (2000) Categories as acts of meaning: The case of categories in olfaction and audition. Cognitive Science Quarterly, , –.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Engen, T.
    (1983) The human uses of olfaction. American Journal of Otolaryngology, (), –. 10.1016/S0196‑0709(83)80067‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0196-0709(83)80067-2 [Google Scholar]
  15. Floyd, S., San Roque, L., & Majid, A.
    (2018) Smell is coded in grammar and frequent in discourse: Cha’palaa olfactory language in cross-linguistic perspective. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, (), –. 10.1111/jola.12190
    https://doi.org/10.1111/jola.12190 [Google Scholar]
  16. Gibson, E., Futrell, R., Jara-Ettinger, J., Mahowald, K., Bergen, L., Ratnasingam, S., Gibson, M., Piantadosi, S. T., & Conway, B. R.
    (2017) Color naming across languages reflects color use. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (), –. 10.1073/pnas.1619666114
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1619666114 [Google Scholar]
  17. Hörberg, T., Larsson, M., & Olofsson, J. K.
    (2020) Mapping the semantic organization of the English odor vocabulary using natural language data. PsyArXiv. 10.31234/osf.io/hm8av
    https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/hm8av [Google Scholar]
  18. Howes, D.
    (1987) Olfaction and transition: An essay on the ritual uses of smell. Canadian Review of Sociology, (), –. 10.1111/j.1755‑618X.1987.tb01103.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-618X.1987.tb01103.x [Google Scholar]
  19. Iatropoulos, G., Herman, P., Lansner, A., Karlgren, J., Larsson, M., & Olofsson, J. K.
    (2018) The language of smell: Connecting linguistic and psychophysical properties of odor descriptors. Cognition, , –. 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.05.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.05.007 [Google Scholar]
  20. Iravani, B., Schaefer, M., Wilson, D. A., Arshamian, A., & Lundström, J. N.
    (2021) The human olfactory bulb process odor valence representation and initiate motor avoidance behavior. bioRxiv. 10.1101/2021.01.20.427468
    https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.20.427468 [Google Scholar]
  21. Kaeppler, K., & Mueller, F.
    (2013) Odor classification: A review of factors influencing perception-based odor arrangements. Chemical Senses, , –. 10.1093/chemse/bjs141
    https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjs141 [Google Scholar]
  22. Kemp, C., Xu, Y., & Regier, T.
    (2018) Semantic typology and efficient communication. Annual Review of Linguistics, , –. 10.1146/annurev‑linguistics‑011817‑045406
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-linguistics-011817-045406 [Google Scholar]
  23. Kövecses, Z.
    (2019) Perception and metaphor: The case of smell. InL. J. Speed, C. O’Meara, L. San Roque, & A. Majid (Eds.), Perception Metaphors (pp.–). John Benjamins. 10.1075/celcr.19.16kov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.19.16kov [Google Scholar]
  24. Krifka, M.
    (2010) A note on the asymmetry in the hedonic implicatures of olfactory and gustatory terms. InS. Fuchs, P. Hoole, C. Mooshammer, & M. Zygis (Eds.), Between the Regular and the Particular in Speech and Language (pp.–). Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Lee, A. P.
    (2015) Lexical categories and conceptualization of olfaction in Amis. Language and Cognition, (), –. 10.1017/langcog.2014.32
    https://doi.org/10.1017/langcog.2014.32 [Google Scholar]
  26. Levinson, S. C., & Majid, A.
    (2014) Differential ineffability and the senses. Mind and Language, (), –. 10.1111/mila.12057
    https://doi.org/10.1111/mila.12057 [Google Scholar]
  27. Majid, A.
    (2021) Human olfaction at the intersection of language, culture, and biology. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, (), –. 10.1016/j.tics.2020.11.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2020.11.005 [Google Scholar]
  28. Majid, A., & Burenhult, N.
    (2014) Odors are expressible in language, as long as you speak the right language. Cognition, (), –. 10.1016/j.cognition.2013.11.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2013.11.004 [Google Scholar]
  29. Majid, A., Burenhult, N., Stensmyr, M., De Valk, J., & Hansson, B. S.
    (2018) Olfactory language and abstraction across cultures. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, (). 10.1098/rstb.2017.0139
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2017.0139 [Google Scholar]
  30. Majid, A., & Kruspe, N.
    (2018) Hunter-gatherer olfaction is special. Current Biology, (), –.e2. 10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.014
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.014 [Google Scholar]
  31. Majid, A., Roberts, S. G., Cilissen, L., Emmorey, K., Nicodemus, B., O’Grady, L., Woll, B., LeLan, B., de Sousa, H., Cansler, B. L., Shayan, S., de Vos, C., Senft, G., Enfield, N. J., Razak, R. A., Fedden, S., Tufvesson, S., Dingemanse, M., Ozturk, O., … Levinson, S. C.
    (2018) Differential coding of perception in the world’s languages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A, (), –. 10.1073/pnas.1720419115
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1720419115 [Google Scholar]
  32. McGann, J. P.
    (2017) Poor human olfaction is a 19th-century myth. Science, (), eaam7263. 10.1126/science.aam7263
    https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aam7263 [Google Scholar]
  33. O’Meara, C., & Majid, A.
    (2016) How changing lifestyles impact seri smellscapes and smell language. Anthropological Linguistics, (), –. 10.1353/anl.2016.0024
    https://doi.org/10.1353/anl.2016.0024 [Google Scholar]
  34. Peeters, G., & Czapinski, J.
    (1990) Positive-negative asymmetry in evaluations: The distinction between affective and informational negativity effects. European Review of Social Psychology, (), –. 10.1080/14792779108401856
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14792779108401856 [Google Scholar]
  35. Plümacher, M.
    (2007) Color perception, color description and metaphor. InM. Plümacher & P. Holz (Eds.), Speaking of Colors and Odors (pp.–). John Benjamins. 10.1075/celcr.8.04plu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.8.04plu [Google Scholar]
  36. Poulton, T.
    (2020a) Odours and Odorants (COCA) [Data set]. 10.17605/OSF.IO/MZSWT
    https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/MZSWT [Google Scholar]
  37. (2020b) The smells we know and love: Variation in codability and description strategy. Language and Cognition, (), –. 10.1017/langcog.2020.11
    https://doi.org/10.1017/langcog.2020.11 [Google Scholar]
  38. Poulton, T., & Hill, C.
    (forthcoming). Linguistic descriptions and cultural models of olfaction in Umpila and English. Language Sciences.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Rayson, P., Archer, D. E., Piao, S., & McEnery, T.
    (2004) The UCREL semantic analysis system. Proceedings of the Workshop on Beyond Named Entity Recognition Semantic Labelling for NLP tTasks in Association with LREC 2004. Lisbon (pp.–). https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/rayson/publications/usas_lrec04ws.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Rouby, C., & Bensafi, M.
    (2002) Is there a hedonic dimension to odors?InC. Rouby, B. Schaal, D. Dubois, R. Gervais, & A. Holley (Eds.), Olfaction, Taste, and Cognition (pp.–). Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511546389.015
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511546389.015 [Google Scholar]
  41. San Roque, L., Kendrick, K. H., Norcliffe, E., Brown, P., Defina, R., Dingemanse, M., Dirksmeyer, T., Enfield, N. J., Floyd, S., Hammond, J., Rossi, G., Tufvesson, S., van Putten, S., & Majid, A.
    (2015) Vision verbs dominate in conversation across cultures, but the ranking of non-visual verbs varies. Cognitive Linguistics, (), –. 10.1515/cog‑2014‑0089
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2014-0089 [Google Scholar]
  42. Schwarz, N., & Lee, S. W. S.
    (2019) The smell of suspicion: How the nose curbs gullibility. InJ. P. Forgas & R. F. Baumeister (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Gullibility (pp.–). Routledge. 10.4324/9780429203787‑13
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429203787-13 [Google Scholar]
  43. Shepherd, G. M.
    (2004) The human sense of smell: Are we better than we think?PLoS Biology, (), . 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020146
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0020146 [Google Scholar]
  44. Sperber, D.
    (1975) Rethinking Symbolism. Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Sweetser, E.
    (1990) From Etymology to Pragmatics: Metaphorical and Cultural Aspects of Semantic Structure. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511620904
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620904 [Google Scholar]
  46. Valenzuela, J., & Soriano, C.
    (2008) Sensorial perception as a source domain: A cross-linguistic study [Paper presentation]. VII International Conference on Researching and Applying Metaphor (RaAM 7), Cáceres, Spain.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Vanek, N., Sóskuthy, M., & Majid, A.
    (2021) Consistent verbal labels promote odor category learning. Cognition, , . 10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104485
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104485 [Google Scholar]
  48. Viberg, Å.
    (1983) The verbs of perception: A typological study. InB. Butterworth, B. Comrie, & D. Östen (Eds.), Explanations for Language Universals. Walter de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110868555.123
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110868555.123 [Google Scholar]
  49. Warriner, A. B., Kuperman, V., & Brysbaert, M.
    (2013) Norms of valence, arousal, and dominance for 13,915 English lemmas. Behavior Research Methods, (), –. 10.3758/s13428‑012‑0314‑x
    https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-012-0314-x [Google Scholar]
  50. Wilson, D. A., & Stevenson, R. J.
    (2006) Learning to Smell: Olfactory Perception from Neurobiology to Behavior. Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Winter, B.
    (2016) Taste and smell words form an affectively loaded and emotionally flexible part of the English lexicon. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, (), –. 10.1080/23273798.2016.1193619
    https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2016.1193619 [Google Scholar]
  52. (2019) Sensory Linguistics: Language, Perception and Metaphor. John Benjamins. 10.1075/celcr.20
    https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.20 [Google Scholar]
  53. Winter, B., Perlman, M., & Majid, A.
    (2018) Vision dominates in perceptual language: English sensory vocabulary is optimized for usage. Cognition, , –. 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.05.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.05.008 [Google Scholar]
  54. Wnuk, E., & Majid, A.
    (2014) Revisiting the limits of language: The odor lexicon of Maniq. Cognition, (), –. 10.1016/j.cognition.2013.12.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2013.12.008 [Google Scholar]
  55. Yeshurun, Y., & Sobel, N.
    (2010) An odor is not worth a thousand words: From multidimensional odors to unidimensional odor objects. Annual Review of Psychology, (), –. 10.1146/annurev.psych.60.110707.163639
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.60.110707.163639 [Google Scholar]
  56. Zaslavsky, N., Kemp, C., Tishby, N., & Regier, T.
    (2019) Color naming reflects both perceptual structure and communicative need. Topics in Cognitive Science, (), –. 10.1111/tops.12395
    https://doi.org/10.1111/tops.12395 [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/ijcl.21028.pou
Loading
/content/journals/10.1075/ijcl.21028.pou
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: smell ; semantic prosody ; English ; olfaction ; communicative need
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error