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How changing lifestyles impact Seri smellscapes and smell language

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.
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.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

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