Inter-Sense: An Investigation of Sensory Blending in Fiction

Roxana Girju, Charlotte Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This study reports on the semantic organization of English sensory descriptors of the five basic senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell in a large corpus of over 8,000 fiction books. We introduce a large-scale text data-driven approach based on distributional-semantic word embeddings to identify and extract these descriptors as well as analyze their mixing interconnections in the resulting conceptual and sensory space. The findings are relevant for research on concept acquisition and representation, as well as for applications that can benefit from a better understanding of perceptual spaces of sensory experiences, in fiction, in particular, and in language in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 Workshops and Tutorials - Language Data and Knowledge, LDK 2021 - Zaragoza, Spain
Duration: Sep 1 2021Sep 4 2021


  • Cross-modal perception
  • Empathy
  • Fiction
  • Language sensory spaces
  • Sensory blending
  • Text data-driven methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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