Smelling Speech Sounds: Association of odors with texture-related ideophones

Marin Uchida, Abhishek Pathak, Kosuke Motoki (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Odors are often difficult to describe verbally, and little is known about the association of odors with the words that describe them. Following the literature on crossmodal correspondences between odors and sounds/haptics, this study aimed to reveal how odors are associated with the words describing textures and haptics in the Japanese language. Fifty participants smelled 17 food-related odors (e.g., lemon, pepper) and matched the odors with words related to texture (e.g., sakusaku), haptics (e.g., soft, dry), and emotion (e.g., positive). The experiment was conducted with and without the verbal description of odor names. The results demonstrated that each odor was mainly categorized into words related to the concepts of (a) juicy/cool/jiggly/positive, (b) smooth/moist/soft, or (c) hard/rough/dry, regardless of whether participants smelled the odors with or without the verbal description. Our findings reveal novel odor-sound/haptic associations and demonstrate how odors can be described verbally. Practical applications: People find it difficult to verbalize or communicate various odors. This study contributes to the literature on odor-sound/haptic correspondences by showing that the odors are associated with texture-related ideophones and haptic words. Specifically, the results demonstrated that each odor was mainly categorized into words related to the concepts of (a) juicy/cool/jiggly/positive, (b) smooth/moist/soft, or (c) hard/rough/dry. These findings are relevant to marketing communications involving odors and emphasize the potential importance of the texture-related ideophones and haptic words when marketers want to effectively communicate odors with consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sensory Studies
Volume36
Issue number3
Early online date26 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • crossmodal correspondences
  • odours
  • ideophones
  • food texture
  • odour-sound correspondences

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Smelling Speech Sounds: Association of odors with texture-related ideophones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this