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Unlike most Indo-European languages Turkish for example groups some words for taste under one word e.g. acı. Are there other languages lacking words for example sour, bitter, sweet, salty, hot/sharp etc? Are there languages that lack taste terminology or where taste is restricted to "tasty" / "not tasty"?

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    How are "sharp" and "hot" words for taste? If they denote some specific flavours, it would seem that English "lacks detailed words" for these flavours, and has to resort to metonymy. In this sense, it would be quite probable that all languages "lack" at least some flavour-words. – Luís Henrique Dec 7 '16 at 8:37
  • @LuísHenrique hot/sharp etc do not explicitly denote words in English and yes they are words for taste. In Turkish there are basic tastes that seem to be missing, unlike Engilsh. – Midas Dec 7 '16 at 9:34
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    I wonder if there is a taste hierarchy like there is for colour. – curiousdannii Dec 7 '16 at 11:18
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    I find it hard to believe that Turkish has no word for salt that figures in discussions of the taste and smell of food. Similar remarks for honey and local astringents. On the other hand, it took western science until the 20th century to discover umami, so this is hardly a linguistic universal. – jlawler Dec 7 '16 at 17:43
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    Yes. For instance, English lacks "umami" (except as a recent loan). – Greg Lee Dec 10 '16 at 20:17
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Logoori has two taste words, -rur-u and -nʊr-u. The former covers hot (spicy), bitter, sour and generally anything negative (it also means "fierce" when applied to animates), and the latter is "sweet". Phrases can be constructed to convey whatever you'd like to say such as "salty, meaty, mushroomy, vegetal".

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I am not sure how did you get that idea. Lets examine your examples:

  • sour: ekşi
  • bitter: acımsı/acımtrak
  • salty: tuzlu

Although acı is used for hot, it is also a general name for lots of tastes. If your culture is not enough specialized in food culture to categorize them, it is your problem, not the Turkish language.

Another thing is that, same as the colours, different cultures have different differentiation for tastes.

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    A family member is a native Turkish speaker, so that's how my question originated. "If your culture is not enough specialized in food culture to categorize them, it is your problem, not the Turkish language." Obviously if that was the case, my question would be much different. You could refrain from such statements and instead put some effort on explaining the following "Although acı is used for hot, it is also a general name for lots of tastes". It would have been much more helpful. Also, Turkish is just an example. The second part of my question is important. – Midas Dec 10 '16 at 7:56

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