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Temperature terms in Mapudungun

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Abstract

Mapudungun (unclassified) is spoken in south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina at different altitudes in climates ranging from tundra and subalpine to Mediterranean. This paper surveys the basic semantics and morphosyntax of nine temperature terms, of which <i>w&#252;tre</i> &#8216;cold&#8217;, <i>f&#252;shk&#252;</i> &#8216;cool&#8217;, <i>e&#241;um</i> &#8216;warm&#8217; and <i>are</i> &#8216;hot&#8217; are probably the most frequently used ones. While these terms can be used for tactile, ambient, and personal-feeling temperatures, the other five are specialised for one or two of these kinds of evaluations. Notably, all terms can be used as main verbs in predications; most can also be used as adjectives in order to modify nouns, and only <i>w&#252;tre</i> and are <i>are</i> commonly used as nouns referring to &#8216;cold&#8217; and &#8216;heat&#8217; respectively.

References

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