[Lingtyp] Seats of emotions: experiencer pronouns, body-part collocations and similar
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.
‘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’.
‘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’).
‘We (I and him) are hungry.’
The word /cheliel/, which occurs in the idiom in (4), occurs elsewhere
only as an adjective meaning ‘hot’.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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’.
‘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.
‘... 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.
‘She is boastful.’
The following is a table of these idioms:
/meaning of first part/
/meaning of second part/
/grammatical relation of/
won no kisiel
be angry, get angry
won no cheliel
sad, to worry
to fall in love
up out of water
feel sick, be sick
carry with strap around head
boastful / excited
‘He feels sleepy.’
‘But the little boy didn't go to sleep and stayed up.’
'Nothing worries me.'
‘Isaac is happy.’
Matthew Dryer and Lea Brown
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Lingtyp