"This is smeely"

Elena Maslova Lena at LH.BICOS.DE
Thu Apr 23 17:21:42 UTC 1998

A note on Russian acquisition concerning the opposition

"Das schmeckt",  lit. 'This tastes', i.e. this tastes good.
"Das riecht", lit. 'This smells', i.e. this smells bad.

"This is tasty", i.e. it tastes good.
"This is smelly", i.e. it smells bad.

I know a girl who used the Russian expression "Ne pahnet" <Das
riecht nicht> to describe the smell of a ROSE (when she was 3 years
old) - clearly because "pachnet" <Das riecht> is, as such,
negative. Furthermore, the meaning of the latter expression was
presumably acquired from her mother's descriptions of a grossery
nearby (which used to smell pretty awful - the whole story is 13
years old.)

Yet in the adult Russian such usage is impossible (One would say
something like 'horosho pahnet' <Das riecht gut>)

All the best,
Elena Maslova
University of Bielefeld
lena at lh.bicos.de

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