SPLTRAK Abstract Submission

Why Smell Words Do Not Come Easily? Pathways To Olfactory Lexicon


Francesca Franzon
International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), , ,

Languages seem to lack words that are uniquely dedicated to olfaction, differently from other senses. Olfactory information is mostly encoded in words denoting an odor source, linked to a multi-sensory representation.

Data from a large rating study, collected primarily on Italian native speakers, will allow to characterize different degrees of information and abstractness in source-based olfactory words. We will model the informative properties of words related to the olfactory domain, by comparing them to other sensory/semantic domains and discuss the communicative efficiency of olfactory encoding.