Phatic communion

Gunter Senft
Table of contents

In the first supplement to C. K. Ogden’s & I. A. Richard’s The meaning of meaning, Bronislaw Malinowski discusses ‘The problem of meaning in primitive languages’. Three years after his first explicitly linguistic paper on ‘Classificatory particles in the language of Kiriwina’ (Malinowski 1920) and 12 years before the publication of the second volume of his book Coral gardens and their magic (Malinowski 1935), where he presents his ‘Ethnographic theory of language’, this is the second primarily linguistic paper of the master of Trobriand ethnography, who emphasized from the very beginning of his research the importance of linguistics for anthropology in general and for ethnography in particular (see e.g. Malinowski: 1915: 501; 1922: 1–25).

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