Gunter Senft

Publications

Displaying 1 - 27 of 27
  • Senft, B., & Senft, G. (2018). Growing up on the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea - Childhood and educational ideologies in Tauwema. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi:10.1075/clu.21.

    Abstract

    This volume deals with the children’s socialization on the Trobriands. After a survey of ethnographic studies on childhood, the book zooms in on indigenous ideas of conception and birth-giving, the children’s early development, their integration into playgroups, their games and their education within their `own little community’ until they reach the age of seven years. During this time children enjoy much autonomy and independence. Attempts of parental education are confined to a minimum. However, parents use subtle means to raise their children. Educational ideologies are manifest in narratives and in speeches addressed to children. They provide guidelines for their integration into the Trobrianders’ “balanced society” which is characterized by cooperation and competition. It does not allow individual accumulation of wealth – surplus property gained has to be redistributed – but it values the fame acquired by individuals in competitive rituals. Fame is not regarded as threatening the balance of their society.
  • 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). Understanding Pragmatics (Japanese edition). Tokyo: Kaitaku-Sha.
  • Senft, G. (2015). Tales from the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea: Psycholinguistic and anthropological linguistic analyses of tales told by Trobriand children and adults. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Abstract

    This volume presents 22 tales from the Trobriand Islands told by children (boys between the age of 5 and 9 years) and adults. The monograph is motivated not only by the anthropological linguistic aim to present a broad and quite unique collection of tales with the thematic approach to illustrate which topics and themes constitute the content of the stories, but also by the psycholinguistic and textlinguistic questions of how children acquire linearization and other narrative strategies, how they develop them and how they use them to structure these texts in an adult-like way. The tales are presented in morpheme-interlinear transcriptions with first textlinguistic analyses and cultural background information necessary to fully understand them. A summarizing comparative analysis of the texts from a psycholinguistic, anthropological linguistic and philological point of view discusses the underlying schemata of the stories, the means narrators use to structure them, their structural complexity and their cultural specificity. The e-book is made available under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
  • Senft, G., Östman, J.-O., & Verschueren, J. (Eds.). (2014). Culture and language use (Repr.). Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.
  • Senft, G. (2014). Understanding Pragmatics. London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    Understanding Pragmatics takes an interdisciplinary approach to provide an accessible introduction to linguistic pragmatics. This book 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. From a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective, this book: • debates the 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, conversation analysis, languages and social classes, and linguistic ideologies • incorporates examples from a broad variety of different languages and cultures • takes an innovative and transdisciplinary view of the field showing linguistic pragmatics has its predecessor in other disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, ethology, ethnology, sociology and the political sciences. Written by an experienced teacher and researcher, this introductory textbook is essential reading for all students studying pragmatics.
  • Senft, G. (2011). The Tuma underworld of love: Erotic and other narrative songs of the Trobriand Islanders and their spirits of the dead. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Abstract

    The Trobriand Islanders' eschatological belief system explains what happens when someone dies. Bronislaw Malinowski described essentials of this eschatology in his articles "Baloma: the Spirits of the Dead in the Trobriand Islands" and "Myth in Primitive Psychology" There he also presented the Trobrianders' belief that a "baloma" can be reborn; he claimed that Trobrianders are unaware of the father's role as genitor. This volume presents a critical review of Malinowski's ethnography of Trobriand eschatology - finally settling the "virgin birth" controversy. It also documents the ritualized and highly poetic "wosi milamala" - the harvest festival songs. They are sung in an archaic variety of Kilivila called "biga baloma" - the baloma language. Malinowski briefly refers to these songs but does not mention that they codify many aspects of Trobriand eschatology. The songs are still sung at specific occasions; however, they are now moribund. With these songs Trobriand eschatology will vanish. The e-book is made available under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
  • Senft, G. (Ed.). (2010). Endangered Austronesian and Australian Aboriginal languages: Essays on language documentation, archiving, and revitalization. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

    Abstract

    The contributions to this book concern the documentation, archiving and revitalization of endangered language materials. The anthology focuses mainly on endangered Oceanic languages, with articles on Vanuatu by Darrell Tryon and the Marquesas by Gabriele Cablitz, on situations of loss and gain by Ingjerd Hoem and on the Kilivila language of the Trobriands by the editor. Nick Thieberger, Peter Wittenburg and Paul Trilsbeek, and David Blundell and colleagues write about aspects of linguistic archiving. Under the rubric of revitalization, Margaret Florey and Michael Ewing write about Maluku, Jakelin Troy and Michael Walsh about Australian Aboriginal languages in southeastern Australia, whilst three articles, by Sophie Nock, Diana Johnson and Winifred Crombie concern the revitalization of Maori.
  • Senft, G. (2010). The Trobriand Islanders' ways of speaking. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    Abstract

    The book documents the Trobriand Islanders' typology of genres. Rooted in the 'ethnography of speaking/anthropological linguistics' paradigm, the author highlights the relevance of genres for researching language, culture and cognition in social interaction and the importance of understanding them for achieving linguistic and cultural competence. Data presented is accessible via the internet.
  • Senft, G., Östman, J.-O., & Verschueren, J. (Eds.). (2009). Culture and language use. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Senft, G., & Basso, E. B. (Eds.). (2009). Ritual communication. Oxford: Berg.
  • 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. (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.). (2004). Deixis and Demonstratives in Oceanic Languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

    Abstract

    When we communicate, we communicate in a certain context, and this context shapes our utterances. Natural languages are context-bound and deixis 'concerns the ways in which languages encode or grammaticalise features of the context of utterance or speech event, and thus also concerns ways in which the interpretation of utterances depends on the analysis of that context of utterance' (Stephen Levinson). The systems of deixis and demonstratives in the Oceanic languages represented in the contributions to this volume illustrate the fascinating complexity of spatial reference in these languages. Some of the studies presented here highlight social aspects of deictic reference illustrating de Leon's point that 'reference is a collaborative task' . It is hoped that this anthology will contribute to a better understanding of this area and provoke further studies in this extremely interesting, though still rather underdeveloped, research area.
  • Senft, G., & Smits, R. (Eds.). (2000). Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics: Annual report 2000. Nijmegen: MPI for Psycholinguistics.
  • Senft, G. (Ed.). (2000). Systems of nominal classification. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Senft, G. (Ed.). (1997). Referring to space: Studies in Austronesian and Papuan languages. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Senft, G. (1996). Classificatory particles in Kilivila. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Senft, G., & Wilkins, D. (1995). A man, a tree, and forget about the pigs: Space games, spatial reference and cross-linguistic comparison. Plenary paper presented by at the 19th international LAUD symposium "Language and space" Duisburg. Mimeo: Nijmegen.
  • Senft, G. (1994). Audio-visual equipment in research on space: Paper presented at the Multidisciplinair Symposium BEELD IN ONDERZOEK ONDERZOEK IN BEELD 26 & 27 Mei 1994 Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden. Nijmegen: Mimeo.
  • Brown, P., Senft, G., & Wheeldon, L. (Eds.). (1992). Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics: Annual report 1992. Nijmegen: MPI for Psycholinguistics.
  • Senft, G. (1992). Das System der Klassifikationspartikeln im Kilivila: Habilitationsschrift vorgelegt für die Habilitation (Allgemeine Linguistik) im Fachbereich I - Kommunikations- und Geschichtswissenschaften der Technischen Universität Berlin. Mimeo: Berlin.

    Abstract

    German Version of (1996) Classificatory particles in Kilivila. New York: Oxford University Press
  • Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I., & Senft, G. (1987). Studienbrief Rituelle Kommunikation. Hagen: FernUniversität Gesamthochschule Hagen, Fachbereich Erziehungs- und Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie, Kommunikation - Wissen - Kultur.
  • Senft, G. (1986). Kilivila: The language of the Trobriand Islanders. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Becker, A., Dittmar, N., Gutmann, M., Klein, W., Rieck, B.-O., Senft, G., Senft, I., Steckner, W., & Thielecke, E. (1978). The unguided learning of German by Spanish and Italian workers: Symposium on the Sociological Analysis of Education and Training Programmes for Migrant Workers and their Families. Paris: UNESCO Documentations and Publications.
  • Becker, A., Dittmar, N., Gutmann, M., Klein, W., Rieck, B.-O., Senft, G., Senft, I., Steckner, W., & Thielecke, E. (1977). Heidelberger Forschungsprojekt 'Pidgin-Deutsch spanischer und italienischer Arbeiter in der Bundesrepublik': Die ungesteuerte Erlernung des Deutschen durch spanische und italienische Arbeiter; eine soziolinguistische Untersuchung. Osnabrücker Beiträge zur Sprachtheorie, Beihefte 2. Osnabrück: Universität Osnabrück.

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