Chapter published in:Body Part Terms in Conceptualization and Language Usage
Edited by Iwona Kraska-Szlenk
[Cognitive Linguistic Studies in Cultural Contexts 12] 2020
► pp. 169–192
Multifaceted body parts in Murui
A case study from Northwest Amazonia
Based on the firsthand data from Murui, a Witotoan language spoken in the Northwest Amazon, the study demonstrates how the body part terms ‘back’, ‘face’, ‘mouth, and ‘body’ grammaticalized into the domains covering spatial orientation, time, comparison, counting, and the reflexive. Murui body part nouns did not grammaticalize in isolation; to become grammatical markers, they were obligatorily followed by case marking. This allowed those nouns to preserve the original semantics of the case suffixes, and then to extend their semantics into other domains. For instance, the noun ‘back, spine’, followed by the locative, became a postposition meaning ‘above, on top’, and later also ‘over’, a marker used in comparative constructions and counting. In the contexts in which this process took place, ‘back’ lost its semantic content and many of its original morphosyntactic characteristics.
- 1.Typological profile of Murui
- 2.Murui body part terms and grammaticalization
- 2.1The domain of spatial orientation and time
- 2.2The domain of comparison
- 2.3The domain of counting
- 2.4The domain of ‘self’
Published online: 23 March 2020
Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.
Dixon, R. M. W.
Echeverri, Juan Alvaro, Doris Fagua, and Katarzyna I. Wojtylak
Epps, Patience, Claire Bowern, Cynthia A. Hansen, Jane H. Hill, and Jason Zentz
Heine, Bernd, and Tania Kuteva
Payne, Doris L.
Petersen de Piñeros, Gabriele
Seifart, Frank, and Payne, Doris L.
von Martius, Karl Friedrich Philip
Wojtylak, Katarzyna I.
Wojtylak, Katarzyna. I., and Weiß, Maximilian
Wojtylak, Katarzyna. I., & Echeverri, Juan Alvaro
forthcoming). Towards a reconstruction of the pronominal system of Proto-Witotoan from the Northwest Amazon. In From fieldwork to reconstruction. A special issue of Lingua edited by Luca Ciucci