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Expressions of emotions - and inner feelings - in Kilivila, the language of the Trobriand Islanders: A descriptive and methodological critical survey

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons164

Senft,  Gunter
Language and Cognition Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Categories across Language and Cognition, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Senft, G. (2012). Expressions of emotions - and inner feelings - in Kilivila, the language of the Trobriand Islanders: A descriptive and methodological critical survey. Talk presented at Le Centre d'Etudes des Langues Indigènes d'Amérique (CELIA), CNRS. Villejuif, Paris. 2012-01-24.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-30FA-2
Abstract
This talk reports on the results of my research in 2006 and 2008 on the verbal expressions - the lexical means - Kilivila, the language of the Trobriand Islanders, offers its speakers to refer to and to describe emotions and inner feelings. Data were elicited with 18 so-called "Ekman's faces" in which the faces of three persons (one woman, two men) illustrate six allegedly universal basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise) and film stimuli staging and demonstrating standard emotions based on English. This latter stimulus set is called “Mind Reading Emotions Library (MREL)”. It was developed by Baron-Cohen and his co-workers in 2004. After the presentation of the data elicited with the "Ekman faces" and the MREL film clips I will discuss them on the basis of the following three research questions: How "effable" are emotions or can we observe ineffability - the difficulty or impossibility of putting experiences into words - within the domain of emotions? Do consultants agree with one another how they name emotions? Are facial expressions or situations better cues for labeling? In addition to the data elicited with these tools I also present lexical means the Trobriand Islanders use to refer to emotions and inner feelings which are documented in my overall corpus of the Kilivila language.