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Temperature terms in Nganasan

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Abstract

This paper deals with the temperature expressions in Nganasan, a Samoyedic language spoken in the extreme north of Russia. Despite a very harsh climate with temperatures that may fall under -60°C, extreme temperature values are not lexically expressed in Nganasan: there are no dedicated means of expressing them. A life-threatening frost is referred to simply as ‘very cold’. Instead the domain of medium values is elaborated in more detail, with at least three independent and apparently non-derived terms.

References

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