Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Teresa Paccosi will give an invited seminar at King’s College London, organised by the Computational Humanities research group.

Seminar title: Exploring Changes in Sensory Descriptions Over Time: A Frame-Based Approach to the Study of Smelling and Tasting


The world in which we live is mediated by our senses, so it is not surprising that every language has specialized words to describe our perceptual experience. Previous research has revealed a dominance of sight in the usage of sensory words and in the composition of the sensory lexicon in Western European languages. This often results in taste and smell being expressed with a more limited vocabulary in these languages. Existing works on olfactory and gustatory language focus on contemporary language and the specific words employed in these sensory vocabularies. This seminar aims to offer a quantitative exploration of the evolution of English olfactory and gustatory language over time, adopting a FrameNet-like approach for the analysis of sensory descriptions in textual data. The frame-based approach is designed to effectively capture sensory events, i.e., more complex structures involving different participants, rather than focusing solely on the occurrences of single terms in texts. This approach serves as the basis for a system for the automatic extraction of gustatory references from texts. During the seminar, a preliminary version of this system will be presented.

Connection details [here].