Chapter published in:The Linguistics of Olfaction: Typological and Diachronic Approaches to Synchronic Diversity
Edited by Łukasz Jędrzejowski and Przemysław Staniewski
[Typological Studies in Language 131] 2021
► pp. 221–249
How to talk about smell in Japanese
This chapter presents a corpus-informed description of olfactory language in Japanese, centering on everyday speech. Core smell vocabulary takes in the verbs kagu and niou, the nouns nioi and kaori, and the adjective kusai, and exhibits the clear presence of evaluation. Additional basic resources comprise major syntactic and collocational patterns, with smell nouns sharing combinatorial behavior with other perceptual nouns, as well as morphological patterns for complex adjectives in -kusai and sensory smell vocabulary involving mimetic adverbs with iconic encoding of temporal contour and intensity. Some smell terms describe intra-mouth perception as a component of taste in addition to regular olfaction. A review of smell vocabulary used in more formal registers again shows evaluation as a prominent feature.
Keywords: smell, Japanese, collocations, mimetics, olfaction in taste
Published online: 26 April 2021
Backhouse, Anthony E.
JpWaC (Web-based corpus of Japanese)
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Kilgarriff, Adam, Baisa, Vit, Bušta, Jan, Jakubíček, Miloš, Kovář, Vojtěch, Michelfeit, Jan, Rychlý, Pavel & Suchomel, Vít
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