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

Guillaume Jacques rgyalrongskad at gmail.com
Mon Jan 2 14:02:19 UTC 2023

Dear Masha and colleagues,

The Sepik language Alamblak has a suffix -*rxti* (an incorporated adverb)
which can be used to express meaning corresponding to "lie" in
other languages (Foley 2018:266, from Bruce 1979). We could perhaps use the
term "deceptive" to refer to such a category.

(1) pɨtxa-rxti-yaxiya-fora-mə-r
‘He talked deceitfully and loudly to no avail.’

I wonder if we find something similar in other language families.

 A possible extension of deceptive markers are *simulative* markers
(meaning "pretend to X"). For instance, Hopi has grammaticalized the
adjective/noun *atsa-* "lie, falsehood, false" as a simulative prefix (
*atsa-tokva* "pretend to fall asleep"). I have a forthcoming article in
Studies in language discussing simulative derivations from a
crosslinguistic perspective, where some of these examples are discussed.

Happy new year,


Le dim. 1 janv. 2023 à 19:40, Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm <tamm at ling.su.se> a
écrit :

> 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)
> www.ling.su.se/tamm
> tamm at ling.su.se
> _______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> https://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp

Guillaume Jacques

Directeur de recherches
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20230102/70dac6ef/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list