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Title: Posture, location, existence, and states of being in two Central Australian languages
Contributor(s): Goddard, Cliff  (author); Harkins, Jean (author)
Publication Date: 2002
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Abstract: In many languages of Aboriginal Australia and elsewhere, verbs of posture are used for a wide range of positional, locational, existential, and copula-like functions, in addition to depicting human postures such as standing, sitting, and lying. In this chapter we examine the range of use of the relevant verbs in two languages of Central Australia - Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara (PlY) and Arrernte - which are geographically contiguous but not closely related genetically. Using semantic and syntactic tests and procedures, we tease apart different meanings and uses of these verbs in the two languages. We take the view that, even for the purposes of general linguistic description of the kind offered here, it is necessary to have some semantic framework. Without some theory of meaning in language, we would have no criteria for deciding whether or not a lexical item has one or more senses, and if so, how discrete these are from one another, in what way they are related, and what are the correlations between their meanings and their grammatical properties. Working within the natural semantic metalanguage (NSM) framework (Wierzbicka 1996, Goddard 1998), our aim in this chapter is to give a semantically informed description of these verbs and their functions, though we stop short of a comprehensive analysis of their lexical content. After our descriptive account, we return to a brief discussion of relevant semantic issues in the concluding section.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: The Linguistics of Sitting, Standing and Lying, p. 213-238
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Place of Publication: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ISBN: 9027229570
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Typological Studies in Language (TSL)
Series Number : 51
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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