Monash University

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The Linguistic Representation of Olfactory Experiences

posted on 2023-05-22, 07:09 authored by THOMAS JAMES POULTON
There is incredible diversity in the way in which the world’s languages handle describing sensory experiences. This thesis explores the comparatively under-represented domain of smell in English, and tackles questions like how do English speakers describe smells? Why don’t we have more words for these experiences? And where do the few words we do have come from? This thesis situates the answers to these questions in the cognitive, ecological, social, cultural, and historical context that results in the rich diversity around the world.


Principal supervisor

Alice Gaby

Additional supervisor 1

Kate Burridge

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Language, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts