Culinary linguistics

In searching for sites on geographical linguistics earlier today, I was directed to a site on culinary linguistics — a whole book, in fact, which looks fascinating (especially as an adjunct to Dan Jurafsky’s 2014 Language of Food):

Culinary Linguistics: The chef’s special, ed. by Cornelia Gerhardt, Maximiliane Frobenius, & Susanne Ley (all at Saarland University), John Benjamins, 2013

The book has sections on a variety of topics that combine language and food, some of which I’ve written about myself: the language of recipes, the language of menus, the language of food writing and food talk, food names, restaurant names, the vocabulary of tastes, and more. I’ll give the whole table of contents below.

Unfortunately, I won’t ever have a copy of the book, since I am in permanent extremely straitened financial circumstances that don’t allow me to buy books, and certainly not a book that sells for €99, US $149. This is a book that is meant to be bought only by libraries (and the occasional booknut).

The contents, including the charming foody section titles:

Overview of the volume
Maximiliane Frobenius

Food and language – language and food
Cornelia Gerhardt

PRIMI PIATTI Genres of food discourse
When making pie, all ingredients must be chilled. Including you: Lexical, syntactic and interactive features in online discourse – a synchronic study of food blogs
Stefan Diemer and Maximiliane Frobenius
Passionate about food: Jamie and Nigella and the performance of food-talk
Delia Chiaro
The addressee in the recipe: How Julia Child gets to join you in the kitchen
Kerstin Fischer
Food for thought – or, what’s (in) a recipe?: A diachronic analysis of cooking instructions
Jenny Arendholz, Wolfram Bublitz, Monika Kirner and Iris Zimmermann
Recipes and food discourse in English – a historical menu
Stefan Diemer
The way to intercultural learning is through the stomach – Genre-based writing in the EFL classroom
Claudia Bubel and Alice Spitz

SECONDI PIATTI Food and culture
How permeable is the formal-informal boundary at work?: An ethnographic account of the role of food in workplace discourse
Janet Holmes, Meredith Marra and Brian W. King
Comparing drinking toasts – Comparing contexts
Helga Kotthoff
The flavors of multi-ethnic North American literatures: Language, ethnicity and culinary nostalgia
Astrid M. Fellner
Men eat for muscle, women eat for weight loss: Discourses about food and gender in Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines
Janet M. Fuller, Janelle Briggs and Laurel Dillon-Sumner
“Bon Appétit, Lion City”: The use of French in naming restaurants in Singapore
Stefan Serwe, Kenneth Keng Wee Ong and Jean Francois Ghesquière
Talking about taste: Starved for words
Carrie A. Ankerstein and Gerardine M. Pereira


Bon appétit!

2 Responses to “Culinary linguistics”

  1. Alon Says:

    A while ago we published a nice review by Ana Tominc of the Gerhardt et al volume, together with two other books on food and language, in Discourse & Society: doi: 10.1177/0957926516646517

  2. K and K Says:

    The introduction by Gerhardt and the extensive bibliography are especially helpful.

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