Alla D. Belova,

Doctor of Sciences (Linguistics), Full Professor,

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv




Sensorial experience has always been of paramount importance for humans, their survival, and world cognition. The rise of Sensory/ Sensorial/ Sensitive Linguistics in the 21st century, interest in multimodality, and digital technologies advance triggered computerized research of gustatory, olfactory, and tactile perception as well as diverse experiments in Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics, Cognitive Linguistics. 500 connoisseurial food reviews written by prominent restaurant critics in Great Britain and the United States of America in 2020-2023 were analyzed to find out textual ways of communicating taste. The article analyzes language means used to package taste perception, focusing on gustatory, olfactory, and tactile modalities in Modern English, the intersection of gustation and olfaction, in particular, sensory lexemes across categories. Word frequency and combinability of basic taste terms, gustatory words, and non-taste-related words were analyzed to describe taste types and flavour degrees. Food reviews reveal the dominance of veridical tastes, not generic taste types. Tactile modality is expressed in food reviews in multiple ways, proving that the meal’s texture and some ingredients are one of the essential parameters of the meal evaluation. Visual modality is realized through numerous photos of the dishes and restaurants accompanying reviews. Auditory modality in food reviews is reduced to a couple of adjectives and their derivatives. The research is done within Culinary Linguistics deals with diverse genres of food writing, Sensitive Linguistics that focuses on perceptual modalities, Multimodality Theory as eating and food tasting are viewed as multisensory experience and Cognitive Linguistics, in particular, categorization of sensual perceptions.

Keywords: sensory linquistics, culinary linguistics, connoisseurial food review, gustatory, olfactory, tactile, multimodality, categorization.


  1. Bagli, Marco (2021).Tastes We Live By: The Linguistic Conceptualisation of Taste in English, =PT28&dq=gustatory+in+linguistics+birmingham+university&source=bl&ots=tvrxOHYhZN&sig=ACfU3U0XKTRm186c4iMWt2zRd1Lhb8LEog&hl=ru&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjdnaXr5-n3AhVw-yoKHeNFC7MQ6AF6BAg0EAM#v=onepage&q=gustatory%20in% 20linguistics%20birmingham%20university&f=false
  2. Barwich, S. (2020).Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind (Harvard University Press).
  3. Blodgett,Bonnie (2010).Remembering Smell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 
  4. Brillat-Savarin, Jean-Anthelme (2019). The Physiology of Taste: or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy. (Dover Publications, Inc.).
  5. Chaki, Rohini (2019). Alexandre Dumas’s Magnum Opus Was a Massive Cookbook,
  6. Chik, Alice, Vásquez, Camilla (2017). A comparative multimodal analysis of restaurant reviews from two geographical contexts, 1177/1470357216634005
  7. Colizoli, Olympia Murre, Jaap, J., Rouw, Romke (2013). A taste for words and sounds: a case of lexical-gustatory and sound-gustatory synesthesia, articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00775/full
  8. Croijmans,, & Majid, A. (2016). Not all flavor expertise is equal: The language of wine and coffee experts.
  9. Culinary linguistics,
  10. Freedman, Paul (2019). Food The History of Taste (Thames Hudson),
  11. Gilbert, Avery (2015).What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform).
  12. Hawkes, Christopher H. Doty, Richard L. (2018).Smell and Taste Disorders (Cambridge University Press),
  13. Henshaw, Victoria McLean, Kate Medway, Dominic Perkins, Chris Warnaby, Gary Henshaw, Victoria McLean, Kate Medway, Dominic Perkins, Chris Warnaby, Gary (2017). Designing with Smell. Practices, Techniques and Challenges (Routledge).
  14. Huntley, Fletcher (2023). 13 Most Influential Food Critics In History (March 30, 2023),
  15. Levinson, S. , & Majid, A. (2014). Differential ineffability and the senses. Mind & Language, 29, 407–427.
  16. Louwerse, Max Connellb, Louise (2011). A Taste of Words: Linguistic Context and Perceptual Simulation Predict the Modality of Words. Cognitive Science, 35, 381–398,
  17. Magee, Harrison (2009). Talking About Taste: How the Description of Food Means and Does,
  18. Muchembled, Robert (2020).Smells: A Cultural History of Odours in Early Modern Times (Polity).
  19. Narisano, Laura (2020). Sensory Linguistics: expression and conceptualisation of experience through the verbs of taste and smell, handle/123456789/3438/tesi15324339.pdf?sequence=1
  20. Oxford Collocations Dictionary,
  21. Perspectives on Taste Aesthetics, Language, Metaphysics, and Experimental Philosophy (2022), ed. by Jeremy Wyatt, Julia Zakkou, Dan Zeman (Routledge).
  22. Proudfoot Begg, W. (2017).The Development of Taste, and Other Studies in Aesthetics (Andesite Press, 422).
  23. Putting Words in Your Mouth: The Whimsical Language of Food, putting-words-in-your-mouth-the-whimsical-language-of-food/
  24. Stuckey, Barb (2013). Taste: Surprising Stories and Science about Why Food Tastes Good (Atria), 368.
  25. Willem, Jean-Pierre (2022). Alzheimer’s, Aromatherapy, and the Sense of Smell: Essential Oils to Prevent Cognitive Loss and Restore Memory (Inner Traditions/ Bear & Company).
  26. Wilson, Donald A. Stevenson Richard J. (2006).Learning to Smell: Olfactory Perception from Neurobiology to Behavior (Johns Hopkins University Press).
  27. Winter, (2016). Taste and smell words form an affectively loaded part of the English lexicon. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31, p. 975.
  28. Winter, Bodo, Perlman, Marcus, Majid, Asifa (2018). Vision dominates in perceptual language: English sensory vocabulary is optimized for usage. Cognition, 179, October 2018, 213–220.
  29. Winter, B & Strik Lievers, F (2018). Sensory language across lexical categories, Lingua, 204, 45–61,
  30. Winter, Bodo (2019). Sensory Linguisrics (John Benjamins Publishing Company), 289.
  31. Vercelloni, Luca (2016). The Invention of Taste: A Cultural Account of Desire, Delight and Disgust in Fashion, Food and Art (Routledge).

Supporting materials:;