[Lingtyp] Lexical semantics of 'know/believe/think'-type verbs

TALLMAN Adam Adam.TALLMAN at cnrs.fr
Tue Jul 21 16:50:32 UTC 2020

Dear Aaron,

I wonder if you've seen this paper by Junker (2003) on east cree


Perhaps this is what you are looking for...


Adam James Ross Tallman (PhD, UT Austin)
ELDP-SOAS -- Postdoctorant
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De : Lingtyp [lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org] de la part de Peter Austin [pa2 at soas.ac.uk]
Envoyé : mardi 21 juillet 2020 18:24
À : Broadwell,George Aaron
Cc : lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Objet : Re: [Lingtyp] Lexical semantics of 'know/believe/think'-type verbs

Dear Aaron

Anna Wierzbicka and Cliff Goddard have thought a lot about the semantics of thoughts, feelings and emotions over many years so there may be something relevant in their writings, mostly in the Natural Semantic Metalanguage framework.

Best wishes,

On Tue, 21 Jul 2020 at 17:05, Broadwell,George Aaron <broadwell at ufl.edu<mailto:broadwell at ufl.edu>> wrote:

Dear colleagues,

I'm trying to understand the semantics of a handful of verbs in Choctaw that seem to be used rather differently than their closest English translations:

  *   ahnih seems to equate to 'want, notice, find out, think, pay attention to'
  *   yimmih seems to equate to 'believe', but only with nominal objects ('believed Mary' or 'believed in Jesus') but not with clausal objects
  *   ikha̱nah seems to equate to ’know (probably as the result of inquiry’) and often to ’believe’ with a clausal object.
  *   akostininchih is something like ’be certain of’

So far as I can tell, none of these "attitude verbs" seem to match very closely to their English equivalents. (At least, given an English sentence with an attitude verb, I am only partially successful in predicting which verb a Choctaw speaker will use!)

I would appreciate links to discussion of other languages with similar systems or an overall typology of different ways of dividing up this semantic domain.

Aaron Broadwell

George Aaron Broadwell, broadwell at ufl.edu<mailto:broadwell at ufl.edu>  [Pronouns: he/him/his]
Elling Eide Professor | University Term Professor (2018-2021)
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Prof Peter K. Austin
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