Conceptualising olfaction: A study of the scent nouns and adjectives in Old English

Penelope Scott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates the noun and adjective scent lexicon in Old English and provides a Cognitive Linguistic analysis of the conceptualisation of scent. The closely related modality of taste is also taken into consideration, and it is claimed that while both modalities are associated with emotive evaluation, olfaction is distinct from taste in that it lacks any degree of detailed lexical coding. Though the nature of olfactory and gustatory conceptualisation may result from universal properties of sense perception, cultural factors, including the role of medical and religious cultural world views are also taken into consideration. This article puts forward an account of scent in terms of conceptual metaphor, image schemas, and prototype categories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalStudia Neophilologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Anglo-Saxon
  • Old English
  • olfaction
  • senses


Dive into the research topics of 'Conceptualising olfaction: A study of the scent nouns and adjectives in Old English'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this