[Lingtyp] Grammaticalised emotional states

Sebastian Nordhoff sebastian.nordhoff at glottotopia.de
Mon Mar 6 08:57:21 UTC 2023

Dear Ponrawee,
would "fear" relate to an actual event (I am afraid of the fire) or of a 
potential event (I am afraid that my house might burn)?

Timitive modality might be something to look for. 

I get

Marrithiyel (Western Daly, Australia; Green 1989:80; 170)
‘(I’m afraid) they might leave me.’

There are more examples in that presentation.

Green, Ian. 1989. Marrithiyel: A Language of the Daly River Region of 
Australia’s Northern Territory. Canberra: The
Australian National University PhD Diss.


On 3/6/23 09:29, Ponrawee Prasertsom wrote:
> Dear typologists,
> There has been claims in the literature (Cinque, 2013) that (at least 
> some) speakers' emotional states toward a situation such as "fear" and 
> "worry" are not grammatically encoded in any language, where 
> "grammatically encoded" means not encoded by closed-class items 
> ("closed-class" in a morphosyntactic sense: a group of morphemes that 
> occur in the same slot that do not easily admit new items and/or have 
> few members).
> I am interested in examples of any grammaticalized marker for any 
> emotional states (not necessarily "fear" and "worry"). I am interested 
> in both markers of 1) the /speaker/'s emotional states toward the 
> situation being expressed as well as 2) of the /subject/'s emotional 
> states toward the situation. The class of the item could be bound 
> (clitics, affixes) or free (particles, auxiliary verbs) as long as it 
> could be shown to be (somewhat) closed. I am only interested in markers 
> specialised for specific emotions, and not, e.g., impoliteness markers 
> that could be used when the speaker is angry.
> The "(un)happy about the verb" infixes /-ei/- and -/äng-/ from the 
> constructed language Na'vi would be the paradigm example of what I am 
> looking for if they actually existed in a natural language.
> A potential example is Japanese /-yagatte, /which some have told me have 
> grammaticalised into an affix encoding anger about the action. I'm also 
> looking into whether there is evidence that this is actually part of a 
> closed-class and would appreciate any pointers/more information.
> Thank you very much in advance.
> Best regards,
> Ponrawee Prasertsom
> PhD student
> Centre for Language Evolution
> University of Edinburgh
> *References:*
> Cinque, G. (2013). Cognition, universal grammar, and typological 
> generalizations. Lingua, 130, 50–65. 
> https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2012.10.007 
> <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2012.10.007>
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