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This question brought to you by the existence of カレー味のラムネ

In my head, the reading here is あじ。 But I know 七味唐辛子{しちみとうがらし}, so it seems like as a counter it's み。

I'm almost 100% sure that カレーの味 would be "あじ", but what about カレー味?

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七味{しちみ} itself is a morpheme with a Chinese original, thus the 音読み{おんよみ} 七味{しちみ}. The pronunciation rooted from ancient Chinese. 酸味{さんみ} is a similar example.

In the contrary, カレーの味 and カレー味 are lexical items clearly not rooted from Chinese words. カレー味 contains 2 free morphemes カレー and 味{あじ}. So, a 訓読み{くんよみ}, 味{あじ}, would be appropriate in this case.

There are many examples provided by this snack: うまい棒

You can see they have listed a lot of flavors there. Most of them are combinations of a Western origin word + 味{あじ}

Edited:

For 塩味{しおあじ}, a thing 塩{しお} that actually exists make it quite detachable , resulting free morphemes しお + あじ. It is very like the カレー+あじ in the original question. However, like 辛味 it is heavily linked together. One thing you could check is, try adding a の between to see if it makes sense. Like 塩の味{しおのあじ} makes sense, but things like 辛の味{からのあじ} doesn't make sense.

Also, you can see 辛味{からみ} 甘味{あまみ} 苦味{にがみ} are basic tastes the one could sense. The pure sensory counterpart for salty is 鹹味{かんみ}

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  • 1
    What about cases like 紅茶味? Still あじ?
    – nkjt
    Jun 7 '13 at 12:03
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    Yes we have [紅茶味]{こうちゃあじ} [抹茶味]{まっちゃあじ} [塩味]{しおあじ} [醤油味]{しょうゆあじ} グリーンアップル[味]{あじ} etc. and [辛味]{からみ} [甘味]{あまみ} [苦味]{にがみ} [風味]{ふうみ} うま[味]{み}... and 「プリッツ[七味味]{しちみあじ}」 :D
    – user1016
    Jun 7 '13 at 12:17
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    紅茶 + Yes, it is still あじ Jun 7 '13 at 12:21
  • Okay, so ~あじ for specific flavours and ~み for more generic tastes like sweet, sour... but it's not 塩味{えんみ}? Or is it like the difference between "salty" and "salted"?
    – nkjt
    Jun 7 '13 at 12:32
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    @nkjt We also have [塩味]{しおみ} and [塩気]{しおけ} for "saltiness" but 塩味 is normally read しおあじ. Casually we say しょっぱい, [塩味]{しおあじ}が強い/きつい, [塩]{しお}が多い/きつい for "(too) salty". I also say [辛]{から}い (but maybe it's only in Kansai.)
    – user1016
    Jun 7 '13 at 12:57

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