Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-9971
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9994
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Korean has a large number of taste terms and the paradigm is continuously expanding since the lexicalization operates systematically on a few robust principles. Based on the taste terms collected from lexicons, dictionaries, web-postings, and elsewhere, we classified the terms and analyzed the lexicalization patterns. In addition to the widely-known five classes of tastes, i.e., and , Korean has three more classes in the basic category, i.e., and . A large number of tactile sensory words to describe the touch sensations in the mouth at the tasting event and expressions denoting characteristic food texture and mastication also join in creating a rich taste vocabulary. The Korean taste lexicalization system is equipped with the means to signal diverse aspects of gustatory sensation, i.e., intensity, depth, purity and duration. Among such means are vowel polarity, consonantal sound symbolism, reduplication and onomatopoeia. The systematicity of taste lexicalization contributes to the plasticity of the paradigm, making the Korean taste vocabulary one of the most productive and elaborate paradigms.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): onomatopoeia; sound symbolism; synesthesia; taste terms; vowel polarity
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