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Journal Article

How changing lifestyles impact Seri smellscapes and smell language


Majid,  Asifa
Language and Cognition Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, External Organizations;
Research Associates, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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O'Meara, C., & Majid, A. (2016). How changing lifestyles impact Seri smellscapes and smell language. Anthropological Linguistics, 58(2), 107-131. doi:10.1353/anl.2016.0024.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-4F53-1
The sense of smell has widely been viewed as inferior to the other senses. This is reflected in the lack of treatment of olfaction in ethnographies and linguistic descriptions. We present novel data
from the olfactory lexicon of Seri, a language isolate of Mexico, which sheds new light onto the possibilities for olfactory terminologies. We also present the Seri smellscape, highlighting the cultural significance of odors in Seri culture which, along with the olfactory language, is now
under threat as globalization takes hold and traditional ways of life are transformed.