Gunter Senft

Publications

Displaying 1 - 21 of 21
  • 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.

    Abstract

    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). [Review of the book Expeditionen in die Südsee: Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung und Geschichte der Südsee Sammlung des Ethnologischen Museums ed. by Markus Schindlbeck]. Paideuma, 54, 317-320.
  • 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). Landscape terms and place names in the Trobriand Islands - The Kaile'una subset. Language Sciences, 30(2/3), 340-361. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2006.12.001.

    Abstract

    After a brief introduction to the topic the paper first gives an overview of Kilivila landscape terms and then presents the inventory of names for villages, wells, island points, reef-channels and gardens on Kaile’una Island, one of the Trobriand Islands in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. The data on the meaning of the place names presented were gathered in 2004 with six male consultants (between the age of 36 and 64 years) living in the village Tauwema on Kaile’una Island. Thus, the list of place names is quite possibly not the complete sample, but it is reasonably representative of the types of Kilivila place names. After discussing the meaning of these terms the paper presents a first attempt to typologically classify and categorize the place names. The paper ends with a critical discussion of the landscape terms and the proposed typology for place names.
  • Senft, G. (Ed.). (2008). Serial verb constructions in Austronesian and Papuan languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics Publishers.

    Abstract

    This volume of new work explores the nature of verb serialisation in a range of languages from the Pacific region – both Austronesian and non-Austronesian. Serial verbs can be described linguistically as a sequence of verbs which behave as a single complex predicate. A particular focus of this book is the detailed examination given by most authors to the relationship of such uniclausal linguistic structures with the real world notion of eventhood. The book also makes a valuable addition to the description and analysis of serial verb constructions from the Pacific, a region which has generally been under-represented in cross-linguistic discussions of verb serialisation.
  • Senft, G. (Ed.). (2008). Systems of nominal classification [2nd ed.] (2). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    This book addresses the fundamental linguistic question of how the perceived world is expressed through systems of nominal classification that are grammatically encoded in various languages. A team of leading international scholars reviews the whole spectrum of nominal classification, from gender systems through to numeral classifiers, providing cutting-edge theoretical interpretations and empirical case studies based on a wide range of languages. The volume presents ideas about the problems of classification, advances theory by proposing typological categories and clarifies the interface between anthropological and grammatical work. Focusing on systems that have a conceptual-semantic basis, the contributors reflect and represent approaches in nominal classification research. This invaluable reference work will appeal to linguists, anthropologists and psychologists alike, as well as specialists in languages as diverse as Australian, Amazonian, Mayan and Japanese.
  • Senft, G. (2008). The case: The Trobriand Islanders vs H.P. Grice: Kilivila and the Gricean maxims of quality and manner. Anthropos, 103, 139-147.

    Abstract

    The Gricean maxim of Quality “Try to make your contribution one that is true” and his maxim of Manner “Be perspicuous” are not observed in Kilivila, the Austronesian language of the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea. Speakers of Kilivila metalinguistically differentiate registers of their language. One of these varieties is called biga sopa. This label can be glossed as “joking or lying speech, indirect speech, speech which is not vouched for.” The biga sopa constitutes the default register of Trobriand discourse. This article describes the concept of sopa, presents its features, and discusses and illustrates its functions and use within Trobriand society. The article ends with a discussion of the relevance of Gricean maxims for the research of everyday verbal interaction in Kilivila and a general criticism of these maxims, especially from an anthropological linguistic perspective. [Trobriand Islanders, Gricean maxims, varieties of Kilivila, Kilivila sopa, un-plain speaking]
  • 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.

    Abstract

    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.
  • 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.

    Abstract

    (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.

    Abstract

    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.

    Abstract

    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.

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