Kyle Gunn

University of Glasgow

I’m researching how we use language to talk about olfaction, and how that has changed over time. Sensory experiences involving scent can be extremely powerful, but our lexicon is limited in its capacity to describe them. Speakers must therefore describe olfactive experiences using terms from other areas of meaning, through metaphor. By using corpus linguistic methods alongside data contained in the Historical Thesaurus of English, analysed within a framework of recent research in the semantics of metaphor, this project will provide a detailed analysis of the role of metaphor in olfactory language. This will yield an understanding of how metaphor shapes and enables the communication of sensory experience, and how this has changed over time.