The Thaayorre 'true man': Lexicon of the human body in an Australian language
Gaby, A. R.
The Thaayorre 'true man': Lexicon of the human body in an Australian language. Language Sciences, 28
(2-3), 201-220. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.006.
Segmentation (and, indeed, definition) of the human body in Kuuk Thaayorre (a Paman language
of Cape York Peninsula, Australia) is in some respects typologically unusual, while at other times it
conforms to cross-linguistic patterns. The process of deriving complex body part terms from monolexemic
items is revealing of metaphorical associations between parts of the body. Associations
between parts of the body and entities and phenomena in the broader environment are evidenced
by the ubiquity of body part terms (in their extended uses) throughout Thaayorre speech. Understanding
the categorisation of the body is therefore prerequisite to understanding the Thaayorre language