Gunter Senft


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  • Le Guen, O., Senft, G., & Sicoli, M. A. (2008). Language of perception: Views from anthropology. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 11 (pp. 29-36). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.446079.


    To understand the underlying principles of categorisation and classification of sensory input semantic analyses must be based on both language and culture. The senses are not only physiological phenomena, but they are also linguistic, cultural, and social. The goal of this task is to explore and describe sociocultural patterns relating language of perception, ideologies of perception, and perceptual practice in our speech communities.
  • Senft, G. (2008). Event conceptualization and event report in serial verb constructions in Kilivila: Towards a new approach to research and old phenomenon. In G. Senft (Ed.), Serial verb constructions in Austronesian and Papuan languages (pp. 203-230). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics Publishers.
  • Senft, G. (2008). Introduction. In G. Senft (Ed.), Serial verb constructions in Austronesian and Papuan languages (pp. 1-15). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics Publishers.
  • Senft, G. (2008). The teaching of Tokunupei. In J. Kommers, & E. Venbrux (Eds.), Cultural styles of knowledge transmission: Essays in honour of Ad Borsboom (pp. 139-144). Amsterdam: Aksant.


    The paper describes how the documentation of a popular song of the adolescents of Tauwema in 1982 lead to the collection of the myth of Imdeduya and Yolina, one of the most important myths of the Trobriand Islands. When I returned to my fieldsite in 1989 Tokunupei, one of my best consultants in Tauwema, remembered my interest in the myth and provided me with further information on this topic. Tokunupei's teachings open up an important access to Trobriand eschatology.
  • Senft, G. (2008). Zur Bedeutung der Sprache für die Feldforschung. In B. Beer (Ed.), Methoden und Techniken der Feldforschung (pp. 103-118). Berlin: Reimer.
  • Senft, G. (2005). Bronislaw Malinowski and linguistic pragmatics. In P. Cap (Ed.), Pragmatics today (pp. 139-155). Frankfurt am Main: Lang.
  • Levinson, S. C., Pederson, E., & Senft, G. (1997). Sprache und menschliche Orientierungsfähigkeiten. In Jahrbuch der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (pp. 322-327). München: Generalverwaltung der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.
  • Senft, G. (1997). Introduction. In G. Senft (Ed.), Referring to space - Studies in Austronesian and Papuan languages (pp. 1-38). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Senft, G. (1997). Magic, missionaries, and religion - Some observations from the Trobriand Islands. In T. Otto, & A. Borsboom (Eds.), Cultural dynamics of religious change in Oceania (pp. 45-58). Leiden: KITLV press.
  • Levinson, S. C., Brown, P., Danzinger, E., De León, L., Haviland, J. B., Pederson, E., & Senft, G. (1992). Man and Tree & Space Games. In S. C. Levinson (Ed.), Space stimuli kit 1.2 (pp. 7-14). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.2458804.


    These classic tasks can be used to explore spatial reference in field settings. They provide a language-independent metric for eliciting spatial language, using a “director-matcher” paradigm. The Man and Tree task deals with location on the horizontal plane with both featured (man) and non-featured (e.g., tree) objects. The Space Games depict various objects (e.g. bananas, lemons) and elicit spatial contrasts not obviously lexicalisable in English.
  • Senft, G. (1992). As time goes by..: Changes observed in Trobriand Islanders' culture and language, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. In T. Dutton (Ed.), Culture change, language change: Case studies from Melanesia (pp. 67-89). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • Heeschen, V., Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I., Grammer, K., Schiefenhövel, W., & Senft, G. (1986). Sprachliches Verhalten. In Generalverwaltung der MPG (Ed.), Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Jahrbuch 1986 (pp. 394-396). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht.

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