Lexicalisation of temperature concepts in Gbaya (an Ubanguian language of C.A.R.)

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This chapter provides a systematic description of the temperature terms found in Gbaya, an Ubanguian language spoken in Central Africa. Gbaya has very few nouns and verbs dedicated to temperature but many adjectives: verbal adjectives and ideophonic adjectives. I first present the word classes and the syntactic constructions involved in expressing temperature and examine the different systems of temperature terms with respect to the following five domains: weather conditions, body parts, the house, food, and water. I then indicate the main cultural specificities or metaphors used to refer to temperature. In conclusion, the domain of temperature in Gbaya is organised opposing two levels warm/cold and it is only by juxtaposing the many lexical and syntactic possibilities that an understanding of ways of expressing temperature emerges.


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