Gunter Senft

Publications

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12
  • Senft, G. (2017). "Control your emotions! If teasing provokes you, you've lost your face.." The Trobriand Islanders' control of their public display of emotions. In A. Storch (Ed.), Consensus and Dissent: Negotiating Emotion in the Public Space (pp. 59-80). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Abstract

    Kilivila, the Austronesian language of the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea, has a rich inventory of terms - nouns, verbs, adjectives and idiomatic phrases and expressions - to precisely refer to, and to differentiate emotions and inner feelings. This paper describes how the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea deal with the public display of emotions. Forms of emotion control in public encounters are discussed and explained on the basis of ritual communication which pervades the Trobrianders' verbal and non-verbal behaviour. Especially highlighted is the Trobrianders' metalinguistic concept of "biga sopa" with its important role for emotion control in encounters that may run the risk of escalating from argument and conflict to aggression and violence.
  • Senft, G. (2017). Absolute frames of spatial reference in Austronesian languages. Russian Journal of Linguistics, 21, 686-705. doi:10.22363/2312-9182-2017-21-4-686-705.

    Abstract

    This paper provides a brief survey on various absolute frames of spatial reference that can be observed in a number of Austronesian languages – with an emphasis on languages of the Oceanic subgroup. It is based on research of conceptions of space and systems of spatial reference that was initiated by the “space project” of the Cognitive Anthropology Research Group (now the Department of Language and Cognition) at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and by my anthology “Referring to Space” (Senft 1997a; see Keller 2002: 250). The examples illustrating these different absolute frames of spatial reference reveal once more that earlier generalizations within the domain of “SPACE” were strongly biased by research on Indo-European languages; they also reveal how complex some of these absolute frames of spatial reference found in these languages are. The paper ends with a summary of Wegener’s (2002) preliminary typology of these absolute frames of spatial reference.
  • Senft, G. (2017). Acquiring Kilivila Pragmatics - the Role of the Children's (Play-)Groups in the first 7 Years of their Lives on the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea. Studies in Pragmatics, 19, 40-53.

    Abstract

    Trobriand children are breastfed until they can walk; then they are abruptly weaned and the parents dramatically reduce the pervasive loving care that their children experienced before. The children have to find a place within the children’s groups in their villages. They learn to behave according to their community’s rules and regulations which find their expression in forms of verbal and non-verbal behavior. They acquire their culture specific pragmatics under the control of older members of their groups. The children's “small republic” is the primary institution of verbal and cultural socialization. Attempts of parental education are confined to a minimum.
  • Senft, G. (2017). Imdeduya - Variants of a myth of love and hate from the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/clu.20.

    Abstract

    This volume presents five variants of the Imdeduya myth: two versions of the actual myth, a short story, a song and John Kasaipwalova’s English poem “Sail the Midnight Sun”. This poem draws heavily on the Trobriand myth which introduces the protagonists Imdeduya and Yolina and reports on Yolina’s intention to marry the girl so famous for her beauty, on his long journey to Imdeduya’s village and on their tragic love story. The texts are compared with each other with a final focus on the clash between orality and scripturality. Contrary to Kasaipwalova’s fixed poetic text, the oral Imdeduya versions reveal the variability characteristic for oral tradition. This variability opens up questions about traditional stability and destabilization of oral literature, especially questions about the changing role of myth – and magic – in the Trobriand Islanders' society which gets more and more integrated into the by now “literal” nation of Papua New Guinea. This e-book is available under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
  • Senft, G. (2017). Expressions for emotions - and inner feelings - in Kilivila, the language of the Trobriand Islanders: A descriptive and methodological critical essay. In N. Tersis, & P. Boyeldieu (Eds.), Le langage de l'emotion: Variations linguistiques et culturelles (pp. 349-376). Paris: Peeters.

    Abstract

    This paper reports on the results of my research on the lexical means Kilivila offers its speakers to refer to emotions and inner feelings. Data were elicited with 18 “Ekman’s faces” in which photos of the faces of one woman and two men illustrate the allegedly universal basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise) and with film stimuli staging standard emotions. The data are discussed on the basis of the following research questions: * How “effable” are they or do we observe ineffability – the difficulty of putting experiences into words – within the domain of emotions? * Do consultants agree with one another in how they name emotions? * Are facial expressions or situations better cues for labeling?
  • Senft, G. (2017). Understanding Pragmatics (Japanese edition). Tokyo: Kaitaku-Sha.
  • Senft, G. (2017). The Coral Gardens are Losing Their Magic: The Social and Cultural Impact of Climate Change and Overpopulation for the Trobriand Islanders. In A. T. von Poser, & A. von Poser (Eds.), Facets of Fieldwork - Essay in Honor of Jürg Wassmann (pp. 57-68). Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter.

    Abstract

    This paper deals with the dramatic environmental, social and cultural changes on the Trobriand Islands which I experienced during 16 long- and short-term fieldtrips from 1982 to 2012. I first report on the climate change I experienced there over the years and provide a survey about the demographic changes on the Trobriand Islands – highlighting the situation in Tauwema, my village of residence on Kaile’una Island. Finally I report on the social and cultural impact these dramatic changes have for the Trobriand Islanders and their culture.
  • Senft, G. (2002). [Review of the book Die Deutsche Südsee 1884-1914. Ein Handbuch ed. by Hermann Joseph Hiery]. Paideuma, 48, 299-303.
  • Senft, G. (2002). Aus dem Arbeitsalltag von Gunter Senft, MPI Nijmegen. Rundbrief - Forum für Mitglieder und Freunde des Pazifik-Netzwerkes e.V., 51(2), 24-26.
  • Senft, G. (2002). Linguistische Feldforschung. In H. M. Müller (Ed.), Arbeitsbuch Linguistik (pp. 353-363). Paderborn: Schöningh UTB.
  • Senft, G. (2002). Feldforschung in einer deutschen Fabrik - oder: Trobriand ist überall. In H. Fischer (Ed.), Feldforschungen. Erfahrungsberichte zur Einführung (Neufassung) (pp. 207-226). Berlin: Reimer.
  • Senft, G. (2002). What should the ideal online-archive documenting linguistic data of various (endangered) languages and cultures offer to interested parties? Some ideas of a technically naive linguistic field researcher and potential user. In P. Austin, H. Dry, & P. Wittenburg (Eds.), Proceedings of the international LREC workshop on resources and tools in field linguistics (pp. 11-15). Paris: European Language Resources Association.

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