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

Matthew Dryer dryer at buffalo.edu
Sun Jun 28 16:07:12 UTC 2015


Walman (Torricelli; Papua New Guinea) has a number of idioms of this 
sort, though some of these denote mental states that are not really 
emotions, but subjective physical states, like ‘be hungry’ or ‘feel 
sick’, or cognitive states like ‘remember’.Most involve as subject a 
noun /won/, whose only contemporary meaning is ‘chest’, but which is 
clearly cognate to the word for ‘heart’ in related languages. With the 
meaning ‘chest’, /won/ is grammatically feminine, like most inanimate 
nouns in Walman.But in idioms relating to mental states, however, /won/ 
is masculine, as subject agreement with the copula /-o /in (1) shows.

(1)

	

To

	

kum

	

won

	

n-o

	

kisiel.

	

so

	

1sg

	

heart

	

3sg.m.subj-be

	

fast

‘Then I got angry.’

When the predicate in these idioms is an adjective, as in (1), the noun 
phrase expressing the experiencer comes first, but grammatically is not 
subject, object, or possessor.In many of these idioms, the predicate is 
an adjective, but in some it is a verb with the experiencer as object, 
as in (2), where ‘they are happy’ is literally ‘heart follows them’.

(2)Riwonn-rowlo-y

3plheart3sg.m.subj-follow-3pl.obj

‘They are happy.’

Some idioms relating to mental states make use of words which appear to 
have different meanings outside of the idioms in which they occur. For 
instance in (3), the noun /nyukuel/ only occurs in this idiom apart from 
the expression /oputo nyukuel/ ‘food’ (where /oputo/ means ‘yam’).

(3)

	

Kum

	

m-aro-n

	

nyukuel

	

w-au.

	

1sg

	

1sg-and-3sg.m

	

-

	

3sg-hit.1obj

‘We (I and him) are hungry.’

The word /cheliel/, which occurs in the idiom in (4), occurs elsewhere 
only as an adjective meaning ‘hot’.

(4)

	

Runon

	

cheliel

	

w-oko-n.

	

3sg.m

	

sick

	

3sg.f.subj-take-3sg.m.obj

‘He felt sick.’

The word glossed as ‘angry’ in (5) is a transitive verb that does not 
occur outside this idiom; its subject is /won/ ‘heart’ and its object 
denotes the experiencer.

(5)

	

Kum

	

won

	

n-p-akou.

	

1sg

	

heart

	

3sg.m.subj-1obj-angry

‘I am angry.’

In (6), the expression for ‘be ashamed’ has the word /chie/ ‘mother’s 
older sister’ as subject and the verb /-arao/ ‘carry on back, with strap 
around forehead’ (though one or both of these could be accidental 
homonymy), with the experiencer object of the verb.

(6)

	

To

	

ri

	

konungkol

	

chie

	

w-arao-y.

	

then

	

3pl

	

man.pl

	

mother's.older.sister

	

3sg.f-carry.on.forehead-3pl.obj

‘Then the men were ashamed.’

In (7), the verb is an intransitive verb, with /won/ as subject and the 
experiencer as neither subject, object, nor possessor.

(7)

	

Ru

	

won

	

n-iri

	

3sg.fem

	

heart

	

3sg.masc-stand.up

‘She fell in love with him.’

In (8), the predicate is a word /nyopunon/, which occurs outside this 
idiom only as a noun meaning ‘leader’.

(8)

	

Akou

	

n-aro-n

	

won

	

nyopunon.

	

finish

	

3sg.m-and-3sg.m

	

heart

	

leader

‘The two [brothers] were happy.’

In (9), the predicate is a noun /chrieu/, whose original meaning means 
‘marks’ (as in a mark in a tree to signal some meaning, or sticks on the 
ground to show the route one has followed) but which is now used for any 
form of writing.

(9)

	

o

	

runon

	

mon

	

won

	

chrieu

	

pelen

	

cha

	

runon

	

n-awanie-y.

	

and

	

3sg.m

	

neg

	

heart

	

marks

	

dog

	

so.that

	

3sg.m

	

3sg.m-call-3pl

‘... he did not remember to call the dogs.’

A different sort of idiom involving a body part is illustrated in (10), 
where the body part is saykil ‘liver’ functioning as postverbal 
nonobject with the reflexive form of the verb for ‘kill’ and the 
experiencer as subject.

(10)

	

Ru

	

w-r-aypon

	

saykil.

	

3sg.f

	

3sg.f-refl-kill

	

liver

‘She is boastful.’

The following is a table of these idioms:

//

//

/expression/

	

//

//

/gloss/

	

//

/meaning of first part/

	

//

/meaning of second part/

	

/grammatical relation of/

/experiencer/

won no kisiel

	

be angry, get angry

	

“heart”

	

be fast

	

-

won no cheliel

	

angry

	

“heart”

	

be hot

	

-

won nakou

	

angry

	

“heart”

	

--

	

obj

won nyopu

	

happy

	

“heart”

	

good

	

-

won nrowlo

	

happy

	

“heart”

	

follow

	

obj

won nyupunon

	

happy

	

“heart”

	

leader

	

-

won woyuen

	

sad, to worry

	

“heart”

	

bad

	

-

won niri

	

to fall in love

	

“heart”

	

stand up

	

-

won pel

	

thirsty

	

“heart”

	

up out of water

	

-

won kel

	

fall asleep

	

‘heart”

	

--

	

-

won chrieu

	

remember

	

“heart”

	

marks, writing

	

-

won osopul

	

forget

	

“heart”

	

--

	

-

nyukuel wapu

	

hungry

	

--

	

hit

	

obj

nyupul yarie

	

sleepy

	

sleep

	

hit

	

obj

cheliel woko

	

feel sick, be sick

	

hot

	

take

	

obj

chie warao

	

ashamed

	

(wife’s older

sister)

	

carry with strap around head

	

obj

-raypon saykil

	

boastful / excited

	

hit oneself

	

liver

	

subj

Further examples:

(11)Runonnyupuly-arie-n

3sg.msleep3pl-hit-3sg.m

‘He feels sleepy.’

(12)

	

O

	

rul

	

pa

	

mon

	

won

	

kel,

	

runon

	

n-an

	

wor.

	

and

	

3.dimin

	

that

	

neg

	

heart

	

--

	

3sg.m

	

3sg.m-be.at

	

high

‘But the little boy didn't go to sleep and stayed up.’

(13)

	

Kum

	

mon

	

won

	

woyue-n.

	

	

1sg

	

neg

	

heart

	

bad-m

	

'Nothing worries me.'

(14)Isaacwonnyopu-ø.

Isaacheartgood-f

‘Isaac is happy.’

Matthew Dryer and Lea Brown


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