Gunter Senft


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  • Levinson, S. C., Enfield, N. J., & Senft, G. (2001). Kinship domain for 'space in thinking' subproject. In S. C. Levinson, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Manual for the field season 2001 (pp. 85-88). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.874655.
  • Senft, G. (2001). [Review of the book Handbook of language and ethnic identity ed. by Joshua A. Fishman]. Linguistics, 39, 188-190. doi:10.1515/ling.2001.004.
  • Senft, G. (2001). [Review of the book Language Death by David Crystal]. Linguistics, 39, 815-822. doi:10.1515/ling.2001.032.
  • Senft, G. (2001). [Review of the CD Betel Nuts by Christopher Roberts (1996)]. Kulele, 3, 115-122.


    (TMCD 9602). Taipei: Trees Music & Art, 12-1, Lane 10, Sec. 2, Hsin Yi Rd. Taipei, TAIWAN. Distributed by Sony Music Entertainment (Taiwan)Ltd.,6th fl. No 35 , Lane 11, Kwang-Fu N. Rd., Taipei TAIWAN (CD accompanied by a full color bucklet)
  • Senft, G. (2001). [Review of the book Malinowski's Kiriwina: Fieldwork photography 1915-1918 by Michael W. Young]. Paideuma, 47, 260-263.
  • Senft, G. (2001). Das Präsentieren des Forschers im Felde: Eine Einführung auf den Trobriand Inseln. In C. Sütterlin, & F. S. Salter (Eds.), Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Zu Person und Werk, Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag (pp. 188-197). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
  • Senft, G. (2001). Frames of spatial reference in Kilivila. Studies in Language, 25(3), 521-555. doi:10.1075/sl.25.3.05sen.


    Members of the MPI for Psycholinguistics are researching the interrelationship between language, cognition and the conceptualization of space in various languages. Research results show that there are three frames of spatial reference, the absolute, the relative, and the intrinsic frame of reference. This study first presents results of this research in general and then discusses the results for Kilivila. Speakers of this Austronesian language prefer the intrinsic frame of reference for the location of objects with respect to each other in a given spatial configuration. But they prefer an absolute frame of reference system in referring to the spatial orientation of objects in a given spatial configuration. Moreover, the hypothesis is confirmed that languages seem to influence the choice and the kind of conceptual parameters their speakers use to solve non-verbal problems within the domain of space.
  • Senft, G. (2001). Kevalikuliku: Earthquake magic from the Tobriand Islands (for Unshakebles). In A. Pawley, M. Ross, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The boy from Bundaberg: Studies in Melanesian linguistics in honour of Tom Dutton (pp. 323-331). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • Senft, G. (2001). Ritual communication and linguistic ideology [Comment on Joel Robbins]. Current Anthropology, 42, 606.
  • Senft, G. (2001). Sprache, Kognition und Konzepte des Raumes in verschiedenen Kulturen: Affiziert sprachliche Relativität die Philosophie? In L. Salwiczek, & W. Wickler (Eds.), Wie wir die Welt erkennen: Erkenntnisweisen im interdisziplinären Diskurs (pp. 203-242). Freiburg: Karl Alber.
  • Van Staden, M., Senft, G., Enfield, N. J., & Bohnemeyer, J. (2001). Staged events. In S. C. Levinson, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Manual for the field season 2001 (pp. 115-125). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.874668.


    The term “event” is a controversial concept, and the “same” activity or situation can be linguistically encoded in many different ways. The aim of this task is to explore features of event representation in the language of study, in particular, multi-verb constructions, event typicality, and event complexity. The task consists of a description and recollection task using film stimuli, and a subsequent re-enactment of certain scenes by other participants on the basis of these descriptions. The first part of the task collects elaborate and concise descriptions of complex events in order to examine how these are segmented into macro-events, what kind of information is expressed, and how the information is ordered. The re-enactment task is designed to examine what features of the scenes are stereotypically implied.
  • Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I., & Senft, G. (1991). Trobriander (Papua-Neu-guinea, Trobriand -Inseln, Kaile'una) Tänze zur Einleitung des Erntefeier-Rituals. Film E 3129. Trobriander (Papua-Neuguinea, Trobriand-Inseln, Kiriwina); Ausschnitte aus einem Erntefesttanz. Film E3130. Publikationen zu wissenschaftlichen Filmen. Sektion Ethnologie, 17, 1-17.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Senft, G. (1991). Forschungsgruppe für Kognitive Anthropologie - Eine neue Forschungsgruppe in der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Linguistische Berichte, 133, 244-246.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Senft, G. (1991). Research group for cognitive anthropology - A new research group of the Max Planck Society. Cognitive Linguistics, 2, 311-312.
  • Senft, G. (1991). [Review of the book Einführung in die deskriptive Linguistik by Michael Dürr and Peter Schlobinski]. Linguistics, 29, 722-725.
  • Senft, G. (1991). [Review of the book The sign languages of Aboriginal Australia by Adam Kendon]. Journal of Pragmatics, 15, 400-405. doi:10.1016/0378-2166(91)90040-5.
  • Senft, G. (1991). Bakavilisi Biga - we can 'turn' the language - or: What happens to English words in Kilivila language? In W. Bahner, J. Schildt, & D. Viehwegger (Eds.), Proceedings of the XIVth International Congress of Linguists (pp. 1743-1746). Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
  • Senft, G. (1991). Mahnreden auf den Trobriand Inseln: Eine Fallstudie. In D. Flader (Ed.), Verbale Interaktion: Studien zur Empirie und Methologie der Pragmatik (pp. 27-49). Stuttgart: Metzler.
  • Senft, G. (1991). Network models to describe the Kilivila classifier system. Oceanic Linguistics, 30, 131-155. Retrieved from
  • Senft, G. (1991). Prolegomena to the pragmatics of "situational-intentional" varieties in Kilivila language. In J. Verschueren (Ed.), Levels of linguistic adaptation: Selected papers from the International Pragmatics Conference, Antwerp, August 1987 (pp. 235-248). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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