[Lingtyp] QUERY: lexical expressions for 'lie', 'truth', 'deception' etc. in various languages and cultures

Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm tamm at ling.su.se
Sun Jan 1 18:40:19 UTC 2023

Dear colleagues,

I am looking for information on how speakers of different languages talk about lying, telling truth and deceiving in general by means of lexical expressions. I am interest in all kinds of things: for instance, will all languages have a lexical expression roughly equivalent to “truth” in English? Russian is known to have two words for “truth” – are there any other examples of languages with multiple terms for related  notions? Are there languages that do not have a dedicated verb for a verbal deception, like to lie? If a language has several “lying” verbs, what is the difference among them? What metaphors are used for talking about lying and telling the truth? Etc.

I am aware of a few relevant studies, but these are basically restricted to a handful of European languages, so any advice and pointers will be grossly appreciated. You can write to me directly rather than increasing the spam volume of the messages to the members of this list.

A Happy New Year and all the best,
Maria (Masha) Koptjevskaja Tamm

Prof. Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm
Dept. of linguistics, Stockholm university, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden
tel.: +46-8-16 26 20 (office)
tamm at ling.su.se

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