[Lingtyp] Grammaticalised emotional states

Jess Tauber tetrahedralpt at gmail.com
Mon Mar 6 10:15:23 UTC 2023

In Yahgan, a recently extinct genetic isolate from Tierra del Fuego, which
I've studied for a quarter century, the only grammaticalized emotion marker
I'm aware of was kush (sh as in English), which is the regular present
tense form of kuru: (colon marks the tenseness of the vowel preceding it),
meaning 'like, want, desire'. It is placed after the first word in the
sentence (which is usually the subject). For example hai kush sa atu:pai
apvmuta 'I want you to take the fish' where hai is the 1st sg emphatic pn
subject, sa the 2nd sg object, ata 'take' -u:pai verbal suffix 'to'
(grammaticalized a infinitive), apvmuhr 'fish', where apvmut- is the
combining form (hr represents a kind of voiceless apical trill, v is
schwa), and -a is 'a/the' (nonspecific/generic) apvmuhr is ambivalent as to
number, and takes no case marking because it is low animacy.

Jess Tauber

On Mon, Mar 6, 2023 at 4:03 AM Bastian Persohn <
persohn.linguistics at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Ponrawee,
> You might be interested in apprehensional epistemics, which express a
> negative subjective stance towards a possibility, and which are sometimes
> described as ‚fear‘ markers.
> Some references, with no claim as to their comprehensiveness:
> Dobrushina, Nina. 2006. Grammaticheskie formy i konstrukcii so znacheniem
> opasenija i predosterezhenija [Grammatical forms and constructions with
> the meaning of fear and caution]. Voprosy jazykoznanija 2. 28–67.
> Lichtenberk, Frantisek. 1995. Apprehensional epistemics. In Joan Bybee &
> Suzanne Fleischman (eds.), Modality in grammar and discourse, 293–327.
> Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
> Vuillermet, Marine. 2018. Grammatical fear morphemes in Ese Ejja. Making
> the case for a morphosemantic apprehensional domain. Studies in Language 42(1).
> 256–293.
> In addition, a 2018 special issue of Studies in Language entitled
> „Morphology and emotions across the world’s languages“ (
> https://benjamins.com/catalog/sl.42.1) is surely highly relevant to what
> you are looking for.
> Best,
> Bastian
> Am 06.03.2023 um 09:29 schrieb Ponrawee Prasertsom <ponrawee.pra at gmail.com
> >:
> 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
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