Pleasing to the mouth or pleasant personality: A corpus-based study of conceptualization of desserts in online Chinese food reviews

Yin Zhong, Chu Ren Huang

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Description of flavours of desserts often involves a rich range of vocabulary. This paper investigates the real-life language describing tastes of desserts in Mandarin Chinese, extracting data from Dazhong Dianping, the most popular restaurant review website in China. Using the Sketch Engine as the primary tool to extract collocations, we found that 'mouthfeel' and 'personality', instead of direct descriptions of TASTE or SMELL, are the most dominant expressions. In particular, more than one hundred 'mouthfeel' words are identified, with strong tendency of positive polarity. The majority of 'mouthfeel' terms are tactile (sense of touch) in nature, which shall be considered as synaesthetic metaphors to depict TASTE. Moreover, these 'mouthfeel' words often collocate with words connoting pleasant personality, especially in terms of warm social interactions. In summary, due to its intensional rather than physical telicity, description of desserts shows significant cultural variations. On the one hand, the preferred words still retain the same telic purpose, i.e., to please the mouth; on the other hand, instead of using expressions conveying intensional bodily pleasure (sensuality/sexuality), Chinese focus both on the parochial bodily experience (pleasing the mouth) as well as the social-interactional (pleasant personality) to describe desserts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages893-903
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event32nd Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2018, in conjunction with the 25th Joint Workshop on Linguistics and Language Processing, JWLLP 2018 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 1 Dec 20183 Dec 2018

Conference

Conference32nd Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2018, in conjunction with the 25th Joint Workshop on Linguistics and Language Processing, JWLLP 2018
CountryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Period1/12/183/12/18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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