Article published in:Emotion, Body and Mind across a Continent: Figurative representations of emotions in Australian Aboriginal languages
Edited by Maïa Ponsonnet, Dorothea Hoffmann and Isabel O'Keeffe
[Pragmatics & Cognition 27:1] 2020
► pp. 184–208
Be happy when your stomach is
Figurative extensions of the body in MalakMalak
In this paper I provide a description of the role of body-part terms in expressions of emotion and other semantic extensions in MalakMalak, a non-Pama-Nyungan language of the Daly River area. Body-based expressions denote events, emotions, personality traits, significant places and people and are used to refer to times and number. Particularly central in the language are men ‘stomach’, pundu ‘head’ and tjewurr ‘ear’ associated respectively with basic emotions, states of mind and reason. The figurative extensions of these body parts are discussed systematically, and compared with what is known for other languages of the Daly River region. The article also explores the grammatical make up of body-based emotional collocations, and in particular the role of noun incorporation. In MalakMalak, noun incorporation is a central part of forming predicates with body parts, but uncommon in any other semantic domain of the language and only lexemes denoting basic emotions may also incorporate closed-class adjectives.
Keywords: MalakMalak, language of emotion, parts of speech, cultural salience
Published online: 22 September 2021
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