Comparing emotion lexica in Dalabon and Barunga Kriol (northern Australia)
Maïa Ponsonnet | University of Western Australia | University of Sydney | Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, Australian National University
This article analyzes some of the lexical semantic features of Barunga Kriol, an Australian creole language (Northern Territory,
Australia), in comparison with Dalabon, one of the Australian Aboriginal languages replaced by Barunga Kriol. Focusing on the semantic
domain of emotions, this study offers insights into how creole languages select and organize semantic meanings, and to what extent this
results in lexical loss or retention. I spell out the exact nature of the lexical resemblances between the two languages, and highlight
major differences as well. The conclusions of the study are two-fold. Firstly, I show that the Barunga Kriol emotion lexicon shares a great
many properties with the Dalabon emotion lexicon. As a result, speakers in Barunga Kriol and Dalabon respectively are often able to package
meaning in very similar ways: the two languages offer comparable means of describing events in the world. From that point of view, language
shift can be considered to have a lesser impact. Secondly, I show that the lexical resemblances between Barunga Kriol and Dalabon are not
limited to simple cases where the lexemes in each language share the same forms and/or meanings. Instead, lexical resemblances relate to a
number of other properties in semantics and combinatorics, and I devise a preliminary typology of these lexical resemblances. Beyond the
comparison between Barunga Kriol and Dalabon, this typology may tentatively serve as a grid to evaluate lexical resemblances between
languages more generally.
2015“Dev”t means eye-red’: Communicating feelings in glocalised Ghanaian English. Oral presentation at the Australian National University, August 2015.
2006Language and emotional experience: The voice of translingual memoir. In Aneta Pavlenko (ed.), Bilingual minds. Emotional experience, expression, and representation, 34–58. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
1981Roots of language. Ann Arbor: Karoma.
1984The language bioprogram hypothesis. Behavioral and Brain Science 71. 173–221.
2001Creolization of language and culture. London: Routledge.
Crowley, Terry & Claire Bowern
2010An introduction to historical linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cruse, David Alan
1986Lexical Semantics. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.
2011Demonstratives in Dalabon. A language of south-western Arnhem Land. PhD Thesis, Monash University, Melbourne.
Dickson, Gregory F.
2015Marra and Kriol: The loss and maintenance of knowledge across a language shift boundary. PhD Thesis, The Australian National University, Canberra.
1992An argument for basic emotions. Cognition and Emotion 6(3/4). 169–200.
Enfield, Nick J.
2015The utility of meaning: What words mean and why. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2003Bininj Gun-Wok: A pan-dialectal grammar of Mayali, Kunwinjku and Kune. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
2010Semantic typology. In Jae Jung Song (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Typology, vol. 504–533. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Evans, Nicholas, Dunstan Brown & Greville Corbett
2001Dalabon pronominal prefixes and the typology of syncretism: A network morphology analysis. In Booij Geert & Jaap van Marle (eds.), Yearbook of morphology 2000, 103–172. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Evans, Nicholas & Francesca Merlan
2003Dalabon verb conjugation. In Nicholas Evans (ed.), The non-Pama-Nyungan Languages of Northern Australia: Comparative studies of the continent’s most linguistically complex region, vol. 5521, 268–283. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
2008Gut feelings: Locating emotion, life force and intellect in the Thaayorre body. In Farzad Sharifian, René Dirven & Yu Ning (eds.), Body, culture and language: Conceptualizations of internal body organs across cultures and languages., 27–44. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
1994Lexical primitives in Yankunytjatjara. In Cliff Goddard & Anna Wierzbicka (eds.), Semantics and lexical universals: Theory and empirical findings, 229–262. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
1990Shame and shyness in the Aboriginal classroom: A case for “practical semantics”. Australian Journal of Linguistics 10(2). 293–306.
Hiatt, Less R.
1978Classification of the emotions. In Less R. Hiatt (ed.), Australian Aboriginal Concepts, 182–187. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
In prep. The social action of tending the land: On the road to the Old Mission with Umpila and Kuuku Ya’u speakers. Anthropological Linguistics.
2012Descriptions of motion and travel in Jaminjung and Kriol. PhD Thesis, University of Manchester.
1988Pidgins and creoles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2000An introduction to pidgins and creoles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2000Central Australian Aboriginal English: In comparison with the morphosyntactic categories of Kaytetye. Asian Englishes: An International Journal of the Sociolinguistics of English in Asia/Pacific 3(2). 32–58.
2004Kriol-English interactive dictionary. AuSIL Interactive Dictionary Series A-9.
Lee, Jason & Kazuko Obata
2010Languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People – A uniquely Australian heritage. Year Book Australia, vol. 2009–10 Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
2001The Ecology of Language Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2008History of research into Australian pidgins and creoles. In William McGregor (ed.), Encountering Aboriginal languages: Studies in the history of Australian linguistics, 437–457. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
2004Substrate language influence in Kriol: The application of transfer constraints to language contact in Northern Australia. PhD Thesis, University of New England, Armidale.
2010Marriage, love magic, and adultery: Warlpiri relationships as seen by three generations of anthropologists. Oceania 80(3). 272–288.
Muysken, Pieter C.
1981Half-way between Quechua and Spanish: the case for relexification. In Arnold R. Highfield & Valdman Albert (eds.), History and Variation in Creole Studies, 52–79. Karoma: Ann Arbor MI.
Myers, Fred R.
1979Emotions and the self: A theory of personhood and political order among Pintupi Aborigines. Ethos 7(4). 343–370.
Myers, Fred R.
1986Pintupi country, Pintupi self: Sentiment, place and politics among Western Desert aborigines. Canberra, Washington: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Smithsonian Institution Press.
2013Cultural scripts, social cognition and social interactions in Roper Kriol. Australian Journal of Linguistics 33(3). 282–301.
2002Rabbit-Proof Fence. Australia, Australia: Jabal Films PtyLtd.
2013Folk emotion concepts: Lexicalization of emotional experiences across languages and cultures. In Johnny R. J. Fontaine, Klaus R. Scherer & Cristiana Soriano (eds.), Components of emotional meanings: A sourcebook, 46–62. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2006Bilingual minds. Emotional experience, expression, and representation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
2014The bilingual mind and what it tells us about language and thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Peile, Anthony R.
1997Body and soul: An Aboriginal view. Victoria Park: Hesperian Press.
2009Aspects of the semantics of intellectual subjectivity in Dalabon (south-western Arnhem Land). Australian Aboriginal Studies 2009(1). 16–28.
2011a“Brainwash from English”? Barunga Kriol speakers’ views on their own language. Anthropological Linguistics 52(2). 24.
2011bLes figures du doute en langue dalabon (Australie du Nord). Journal de la société des Océanistes 132(1). 151–164.
2012Body-parts in Barunga Kriol and Dalabon: Matches and mismatches. In Maïa Ponsonnet, Loan Dao & Margit Bowler (eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Australian Linguistic Society Conference – 2011, 351–387. Canberra: ANU Research Repository.
2014bDocumenting the language of emotions in Dalabon (Northern Australia). Caveats, solutions and benefits. In Aicha Belkadi, Kakia Chatsiou & Kirsty Rowan (eds.), Proceedings of Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory Conference 41, 1–13. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
2013Kriol. In Susan M. Michaelis, Matthew Maurer, Martin Haspelmath & Magnus Huber (eds.), The atlas of pidgin and creole language structures (APiCS), 241–251. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sharifian, Farzad, René Dirven, Ning Yu & Susanne Niemeier
2008Culture, body and language. Conceptualizations of internal body organs across cultures and languages. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
2008The emergence of pidgin and creole languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2000Camels as pidgin-carriers: Afghan cameleers as a vector for the spread of features of Australian Aboriginal pidgins and creoles. In Jeff Siegel (ed.), Processes of language contact: Studies from Australia and the South Pacific, 195–244. Saint-Laurent, Québec: Fides.
2002From common ground to syntactic construction: Associated path in Warlpiri. In Nick J. Enfield (ed.), Ethnosyntax: Explorations in grammar and culture, 2087–2307. New York: Oxford University Press.
Thomason, Sarah Grey & Terrence Kaufman
1988Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics. Berkeley: University of California Press.
2009Samson and Delilah. Australia, Australia: Scarlett Pictures PtyLtd.
1990Australian Aboriginal Contact with the English Language in New South Wales 1788–1945. Canberra: Pacific Linguistic.
1994Melaleuka: A history and description of New South Wales Pidgin. PhD Thesis, The Australian National University, Canberra.
2002Body part terms in Kaytetye feeling expressions. In Nick J. Enfield & Anna Wierzbicka (eds.), The body in description of emotion, Pragmatics and Cognition, vol. 101, 271–303. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
1996Body parts in Murrinh-Patha: In corporation, grammar and metaphor. In Hilary Chappell & William McGregor (eds.), The grammar of inalienability: A typological perspective on body part terms and the part-whole relation, 111–153. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
1953Languages in contact. New York: Linguistic Circle of New York.
1999Emotions across languages and cultures: Diversity and universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Woodbury, Anthony C.
1998Documenting rhetorical, aesthetic, and expressive loss in language shift. In Leonore A. Grenoble & Lindsay J. Whaley (eds.), Endangered languages, 234–258. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Youn, Hyejin, Logan Sutton, Eric Smith, Christopher Moore, Jon F. Wilkins, Ian Maddieson, William Croft & Tanmoy Bhattacharya
2015On the universal structure of human lexical semantics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(7). 1766–1771.
Cited by 4 other publications
2021. Pidgins and Creoles: Debates and Issues. Annual Review of Anthropology 50:1 ► pp. 363 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 23 march 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.