Grammaticalization of body part terms in Murui

Wojtylak, Katarzyna (2017) Grammaticalization of body part terms in Murui. In: [Presented at the Body Part Terms in Linguistic Usage International Workshop]. From: International Workshop on Body Part Terms in Linguistic Usage: a comparative and typological perspective, 8-9 December 2017, Warsaw, Poland.

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Abstract

Amazonian languages show substantial variability in the usage of body part terms. For instance, Panoan languages spoken in Peru, western Brazil, and Bolivia, have closed sets of productive prefixes (mainly designating body-parts) that have locative orientational functions (Fleck 2006). For instance, the prefix bë- can refer to ‘face’, ‘forehead’, ‘eye’, ‘eyebrow’, and ‘front, surface’. Bora, a Boran language spoken in southern Colombia, has sets of classifiers that occur in prefix position and have instrumental meanings, many of which referring to body parts (Thiesen & Weber 2012). Examples of this are t- ‘do with teeth’, tha- ‘do with the foot’, and tò- ‘do with the hand’. In most Amazonian languages, such as Palikur (Arawak) and Panare (Carib), only obligatory possessed nouns ‒ which are often body parts ‒ can be incorporated (Aikenvald 2012). This study focuses on usage of body part terms in Murui, a Witotoan language spoken in southern Colombia and northern Peru (Wojtylak 2017). In comparison with other Amazonian languages, usage of body part terms in Murui appears to be relatively ‘simple’.

Based on the documentary fieldwork data, the study addresses the grammaticalization of Murui body part terms in:

- THE DOMAIN OF SPATIAL ORIENTATION, which is the most significant target domain of the grammaticalization of body part terms cross-linguistically (Heine and Kuteva 2002, Kraska-Szlenk 2014). An example of this is Murui emodo ‘back’ > ‘above’.

- THE DOMAIN OF TIME. Murui body part terms are used as markers of dependent clauses relating to time, e.g. uieko ‘face’ > ‘in front’ > ‘before’.

- THE DOMAIN OF COMPARISON. In Murui, emodo-mo, ‘at the back’, marked with the locative -mo, is frequently used as a standard marker in comparative constructions.

- THE DOMAIN OF ‘SELF’. The notion of ‘self’, for which the lexical noun abɨ ‘body’ is used, marks all types of Murui reflexive constructions.

Item ID: 53029
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2018 02:26
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950506 Understanding the Past of the Americas @ 20%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 80%
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