Gunter Senft

Publications

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11
  • 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). 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). 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. (2016). "Masawa - bogeokwa si tuta!": Cultural and cognitive implications of the Trobriand Islanders' gradual loss of their knowledge of how to make a masawa canoe. In P. Meusburger, T. Freytag, & L. Suarsana (Eds.), Ethnic and Cultural Dimensions of Knowledge (pp. 229-256). Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.

    Abstract

    This paper describes how the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea used to construct their big seagoing masawa canoes and how they used to make their sails, what forms of different knowledge and expertise they needed to do this during various stages of the construction processes, how this knowledge was socially distributed, and the social implications of all the joint communal activities that were necessary until a new canoe could be launched. Then it tries to answer the question why the complex distributed knowledge of how to make a masawa has been gradually getting lost in most of the village communities on the Trobriand Islands; and finally it outlines and discusses the implications of this loss for the Trobriand Islanders' culture, for their social construction of reality, and for their indigenous cognitive capacities.
  • Senft, G. (2016). Pragmatics. In K. B. Jensen, R. T. Craig, J. Pooley, & E. Rothenbuhler (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (pp. 1586-1598). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley. doi:10.1002/9781118766804.wbiect165.

    Abstract

    This entry takes an interdisciplinary approach to linguistic pragmatics. It discusses how the meaning of utterances can only be understood in relation to overall cultural, social, and interpersonal contexts, as well as to culture-specific conventions and the speech events in which they are embedded. The entry discusses core issues of pragmatics such as speech act theory, conversational implicature, deixis, gesture, interaction strategies, ritual communication, phatic communion, linguistic relativity, ethnography of speaking, ethnomethodology, and conversation analysis. It takes a transdisciplinary view of the field, showing that linguistic pragmatics has its predecessors in other disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, ethology, ethnology, and sociology.
  • 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). 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.

    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.
  • Senft, G. (2006). Prolegomena to Kilivila grammar of space. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 206-229). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    This paper presents preliminary remarks on some of the central linguistic means speakers of Kilivila use in expressing their conceptions of space and for referring to objects, persons, and events in space . After a brief characterisation of the language and its speakers, I sketch how specific topological relations are encoded, how motion events are described, and what frames of spatial reference are preferred in what contexts for what means and ends.

Share this page