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Crosslinguistic differences in food labels do not yield differences in taste perception

Bylund, E., Samuel, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-7776-7427 & Athanasopoulos, P. (2024). Crosslinguistic differences in food labels do not yield differences in taste perception. Language Learning: a journal of research in language studies, doi: 10.1111/lang.12641


Research shows that speakers of different languages may differ in their cognitive and perceptual processing of reality. A common denominator of this line of investigation is its reliance on the sensory domain of vision. The aim of the present study is to extend the scope to a new sense—taste. Using as a starting point crosslinguistic differences in the category boundaries of edible bulbs, we examined whether monolingual speakers of English and bilingual speakers of Norwegian and English were influenced by language-specific categories during tasting. The results showed no evidence of such effects, not even for the Norwegian participants in an entirely Norwegian context. This suggests that crosslinguistic differences in visual perception do not readily generalise to the domain of taste. The findings are discussed in terms of predictive processing, with particular reference to trigeminal stimulation (a central tasting component) and the interplay between chemosensory signals and top-down linguistic modulation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 The Authors. Language Learning published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Language Learning Research Club, University of Michigan. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Publisher Keywords: linguistic relativity, verbal labels, taste perception
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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