3. Papua New Guinean sweet talk

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People often use conceptual metaphors to understand abstract domains in terms of more directly perceptual domains, as in the English metaphor understanding is seeing. The sensory domain of taste is more complex and culturally conditioned than other senses. This article investigates how the taste domain is structured in several languages in Papua New Guinea (Dawawa, Gadsup, Gwahatike, Guhu Samane, Kamano Kafe and Tairuma) and explores how these language communities use this domain to metaphorically conceptualize more abstract experiences, particularly those of speech and interpersonal relationships. The article also compares these metaphors with those in English and Tok Pisin, the two main languages of wider communication.


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