[Lingtyp] Seats of emotions: experiencer pronouns, body-part collocations and similar

Denis Creissels Denis.Creissels at univ-lyon2.fr
Sat Jun 27 13:07:40 UTC 2015


Dear Kilu,

 

This way of expressing emotions is pervasive among the languages of Subsaharan Africa. For example, in Mandinka (West Mande), the anatomical meaning of jùsôo is ‘liver’, but this noun is also widely used in the expression of emotions / moral attitudes:

 

À jùsóo bèntá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver has been set up.’ > ‘He/she is courageous.’

3SG liver.D set-up.CPL FOC

(SG=singular, D=determiner, CPL=completive aspect, FOC=focus particle)

 

and similarly :

 

À jùsôo bótá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver went out.’ > ‘He/she got angry.’

À jùsôo dímíntá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver got painful.’ > ‘He/she got angry.’

À jùsôo díyáatá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver is pleasant.’ > ‘He/she has a kind heart.’

À jùsôo fárátá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver tore up.’ > ‘He/she is anxious.’

À jùsóo fìntá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver got black.’ > ‘He/she is cruel.’

À jùsóo jàatá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver dried up.’ > ‘He/she is courageous.’

À jùsóo kàndìtá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver got hot.’ > ‘He/she got angry.’

À jùsôo láatá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver lied down.’ > ‘He/she is happy.’

À jùsôo súmíyáatá lè. lit. ‘His/her liver got cool.’ > ‘He/she calmed down.’

 

The corresponding nominal notions are expressed as compound nouns that, according to the rules of Mandinka grammar, constitute the regular nominalization of these constructions, for example jùsùlâa ‘happiness’ < jùsú ‘liver (indefinite)’ + láa ‘lie down’

 

Best regards,

Denis

 

  _____  

De : Lingtyp [mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org] De la part de Kilu von Prince
Envoyé : samedi 27 juin 2015 10:40
À : LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org
Objet : [Lingtyp] Seats of emotions: experiencer pronouns,body-part collocations and similar

 

Dear colleagues,

 

I'm working on an article on expressions of emotions that require an idiosyncratic combination of a subject (typically a body-part) and predicate (typically with a more general meaning such as `be good', `be sweet', `hurt' or similar), as exemplified by the following structure from Oceanic Daakaka:

 

(1) yu-on mwe yaa

inside.of-3S.POSS REAL hurt

`he/she is angry'

 

I am aware of a few other, typologically diverse languages that show such structures: Acholi (Bavin 1996), Hmong (Clark 1996) and Anywa (Reh 1996), which is described to have `experiencer pronouns'. 

 

I would like to know:

1) if you know of other languages with such structures; and

2) how are the corresponding nominal notions expressed in these languages (anger, happiness, sadness, love)?

 

Of course, I'll be happy to cite your published work or cite your personal communication as a source, unless you specify otherwise.

 

Regards,

Kilu

 

References:

Bavin, Edith L. 1996. Body parts in Acholi: alienable and inalienable distinctions and extended uses. In: Chappell, Hilary, & McGregor, William (eds), e grammar of inalienability: A typological perspective on body part terms and the part-whole relation. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter Mouton.

 

Clark, Marybeth. 1996. Where do you feel? – stative verbs and body-part terms in Mainland Southeast Asia. In: Chappell, Hilary, & McGregor, William (eds), e grammar of inalienability: A typological perspective on body part terms and the part-whole relation. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter Mouton. 

 

Reh, Mechthild. 1996. Anywa language. Description and internal reconstructions. (Nilo-Saharan, 11.). Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.



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