Sweet voice and round taste: Cross-sensory metaphors and linguistic variability

Date
9 May 2018
Time
12.30 - 2pm
Location
Jesus College - Ship Street Lecture Centre, Oxford

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How do we define a sound or a taste for which our language does not have a dedicated word?

Typically, we borrow words from another sensory modality. Wines, for example, are often described by words that belong to other sensory perceptions: a “soft flavour” borrows the adjective soft from the domain of touch, and a “round taste” borrows the adjective round from the domain of sight.

It remains an interesting open issue to what extent these cross-sensory metaphors are universal across languages, and to what extent they are language-specific.

Dr Francesca Strik Lievers will address these questions and provide an overview of the latest scientific discoveries in the field, using examples taken from different languages. Her talk will be followed by an opportunity for questions.

The event is organised and hosted by Creative Multilingualism in collaboration with TORCH. Creative Multilingualism is a research programme led by the University of Oxford and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Open World Research Initiative.

Participation is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Book a ticket.

The five senses print

Image credit: Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, George R. Nutter Fund