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Lexical categories and conceptualization of olfaction in Amis



As one of the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan, Amis exhibits abundant lexical items for describing odors. This paper investigates the lexical representations of olfaction across the Amis dialects, showing that Amis possesses more than a dozen abstract odor terms, and uses the proclitic hala=/hali=/ha= plus reduplication of a noun as the source-oriented construction for manifesting olfactory perception. This study also incorporates controlled elicitation by using the booklet of ‘The Smell Identification Test™’ to elicit spontaneous descriptions for the perceived odors. The methodology provides further information to shed light on the categories of verbal responses for odors and the degree of perceptual consistency based on culturally dependent experiences.



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