Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



In this paper I provide a description of the role of body-part terms in expressions of emotion and other semantic extensions in MalakMalak, a non-Pama-Nyungan language of the Daly River area. Body-based expressions denote events, emotions, personality traits, significant places and people and are used to refer to times and number. Particularly central in the language are ‘stomach’, ‘head’ and ‘ear’ associated respectively with basic emotions, states of mind and reason. The figurative extensions of these body parts are discussed systematically, and compared with what is known for other languages of the Daly River region. The article also explores the grammatical make up of body-based emotional collocations, and in particular the role of noun incorporation. In MalakMalak, noun incorporation is a central part of forming predicates with body parts, but uncommon in any other semantic domain of the language and only lexemes denoting basic emotions may also incorporate closed-class adjectives.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Birk, David B. W.
    1974MalakMalak recordings: Collected between 1972 and 1974. archived.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Birk, David
    1975 The phonology of MalakMalak. Pacific Linguistics. Series A. Occasional Papers39(8). 59–77.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. 1976The MalakMalak Language, Daly River (Western Arnhem Land). Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bowern, Claire
    2014 6. Complex Predicates in Australian languages. InHarold Koch & Rachel Nordlinger (eds.), The languages and linguistics of Australia, 263–294. Berlin/Boston: De Gryuter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110279771.263
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110279771.263 [Google Scholar]
  5. Brown, Cecil H. & Stanley R. Witkowski
    1981 Figurative language in a universalist perspective. American Ethnologist, 8(3), 596–615. 10.1525/ae.1981.8.3.02a00110
    https://doi.org/10.1525/ae.1981.8.3.02a00110 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cahir, Petrea
    2006 Verb composites in MalakMalak. Master thesis, University of Melbourne, Melbourne.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Crocombe, Mark
    2010MalakMalak and Matngele recordings: Collected between 2009 and 2010. Unpublished.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Enfield, Nick. J.
    2002 Semantic analysis of body parts in emotion terminology: Avoiding the exoticisms of obstinate monosemy and online extension. Pragmatics & Cognition, 10(1). 85–106. 10.1075/pc.10.1‑2.05enf
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.10.1-2.05enf [Google Scholar]
  9. Enfield, Nick. J. & Anna Wierzbicka
    2002 Introduction: The body in description of emotion. Pragmatics & Cognition, 10(1). 1–24. 10.1075/pc.10.1‑2.02enf
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.10.1-2.02enf [Google Scholar]
  10. Evans, Nicholas & David Wilkins
    2000 The semantic extensions of perception verbs in Australian languages. Language76(3). 546–592. 10.2307/417135
    https://doi.org/10.2307/417135 [Google Scholar]
  11. Foolen, Ad
    2017 Introduction special issue emotions across languages and cultures. International Journal of Language and Culture, 4(1). 1–5. 10.1075/ijolc.4.1.01foo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijolc.4.1.01foo [Google Scholar]
  12. Gaby, Alice
    2008 Gut feelings: Locating intellect, emotion and life force in the Thaayorre body. InFarzad Sharifian, Rene Dirven, Ning Yu & Suzanne Niemeier (eds.), Culture, body, and language: Conceptualizations of internal body organs across cultures and languages, 28–44. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Gaby, Alice & John Bradley
    2019 Wulaya ‘Head’ in Yanyuwa. InIwona Kraska-Szlenk (ed.), Embodiment in cross-linguistic studies, 263–272. Leiden: Brill. 10.1163/9789004392410_015
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004392410_015 [Google Scholar]
  14. Green, Jennifer, David Blackman & David Moore
    2019Alyawarr to English dictionary. Alice Springs: IAD Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Harvey, Mark
    1989A Sketch Grammar of Kamu. Unpublished ms
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Hoffmann, Dorothea
    2013 Mapping Worlds: Frames of Reference in MalakMalak. InMatthew Faytak, Kelsay Neely, Matthew Goss, Erin Donnelly, Nicholas Baier, Jevon Heath & John Merrill (eds.). Proceedings of the thirty-ninth Annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society, 380-395. Berkeley: The University of California. 10.3765/bls.v39i1.3894
    https://doi.org/10.3765/bls.v39i1.3894 [Google Scholar]
  17. 2015 “Complex predication and serialization in the Daly River languages (and beyond)”, presented at School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies Research Seminarson15 April 2015, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. 2017MalakMalak and Matngele recordings: Collected between 2012 and 2017, Annotated and Transcribed by Dorothea Hoffmann. https://wurin.lis.soas.ac.uk/Collection/MPI1001522. (8March 2021.)
    [Google Scholar]
  19. 2019 Restrictions on the usage of spatial frames of reference in location and orientation descriptions: Evidence from three Australian languages. Australian Journal of Linguistics39(1). 1–31. 10.1080/07268602.2019.1542927
    https://doi.org/10.1080/07268602.2019.1542927 [Google Scholar]
  20. Hoffmann, Dorothea, Biddy Yungguny Lindsay, B. Francis Mijat & Rita Pirak [Google Scholar]
  21. Kilham, Christine, Mabel Pamulkan, Jennifer Pootchemunka & Topsy Wolmby
    2011Wik Mungkan-English interactive dictionary. AuSIL Interactive Dictionary Series A-6, Australian Society for Indigenous Languages. Retrieved fromausil.org/Dictionary/Wik-Mungkan/lexicon/mainintro.htm. (8 March 2021.)
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Kofod, Francis & Anna Crane
    . this volume. The body and the verb: Emotion in Gija. InPonsonnet Maïa, Dorothea Hoffmann & Isabel O’Keefe eds. The role of the body in descriptions of emotions. The case of the Australian continent.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Lichtenberk, Frantisek
    1991 Semantic change and heterosemy in grammaticalization. Language76(3), 475–509. 10.1353/lan.1991.0009
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1991.0009 [Google Scholar]
  24. Mansfield, John
    2019Murrinhpatha morphology and phonology (Vol.653). Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter. 10.1515/9781501503306
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781501503306 [Google Scholar]
  25. Ortony, Andrew, Gerald L. Clore & Mark A. Foss
    1987 The referential structure of the affective lexicon. Cognitive Science11(3). 341–364. 10.1207/s15516709cog1103_4
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15516709cog1103_4 [Google Scholar]
  26. Peile, Anthony R.
    1997Body and soul: An Aboriginal view. Hesperian Press: Victoria Park, WA.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Ponsonnet, Maïa
    2014 Figurative and non-figurative use of body part words in descriptions of emotions in Dalabon (Northern Australia). International Journal of Language and Culture, 1(1). 98–130. 10.1075/ijolc.1.1.06pon
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijolc.1.1.06pon [Google Scholar]
  28. 2015 Nominal subclasses in Dalabon (South-western Arnhem Land), Australian Journal of Linguistics35(1). 1–52. 10.1080/07268602.2015.976900
    https://doi.org/10.1080/07268602.2015.976900 [Google Scholar]
  29. 2016 Emotion nouns in Australian languages. InPeter K. Austin, Harold Koch & Jane H. Simpson (eds.), Language, land and story in Australia, 228–243. London: EL Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Ponsonnet, Maïa & Kitty-Jean Laghina
    . this volume. The role of the body in descriptions of emotions. A typology of the Australian continent. InPonsonnet Maïa, Dorothea Hoffmann & Isabel O’Keefe. The role of the body in descriptions of emotions. The case of the Australian continent.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Reid, Nick
    2011Ngan’gityemerri: A language of the Daly River region, Northern Territory of Australia. Lincom Europa: Munich.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Scherer, Klaus R.
    2013 Measuring the meaning of emotion words: A domain-specific componential approach. InJohn R. J. Fontraine, Klaus R. Scherer & Cristina Soriano (eds.), Components of emotional meanings: A sourcebook, 7–30. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592746.003.0002
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592746.003.0002 [Google Scholar]
  33. Sharifian, Farzad, René Dirven, Ning Yu & Suzanne Niemeier
    2008 Culture and language: Looking for the ‘mind’inside the body. InFarzad Sharifian, René Dirven, Ning Yu & Suzanne Niemeier (eds.), Culture, body, and language: Conceptualizations of internal body organs across cultures and languages, 3–23. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110199109.1.3
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199109.1.3 [Google Scholar]
  34. Stanner, William E. H.
    1933a The Daly river tribes: A report of field work in North Australia. Oceania, 3(4). 377–405. 10.1002/j.1834‑4461.1933.tb01674.x
    https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1834-4461.1933.tb01674.x [Google Scholar]
  35. 1933b The Daly river tribe: A report of field work in North Australia (continued). Oceania4(1). 10–29. 10.1002/j.1834‑4461.1933.tb00084.x
    https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1834-4461.1933.tb00084.x [Google Scholar]
  36. 1956 The Dreaming. InThomas Hungerford (ed.), Australian Signpost: An Anthology, 51–65. F.W. Cheshire: Melbourne.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Sutton, Peter & Arthur B. Palmer
    1980Daly River (Malak Malak) Land Claim. Northern Land Council: Darwin.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Toohey, Justice
    1982Daly River (Malak Malak) Land Claim: Report. Australian Government Pub. Service: Darwin.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Turpin, Myfany
    2002 Body part terms in Kaytetye feeling expressions. Pragmatics & Cognition, 10(1). 271–305. 10.1075/pc.10.1‑2.12tur
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.10.1-2.12tur [Google Scholar]
  40. Tryon, Darrel T.
    1974Daly Family Languages, Australia. Series C, Number 32 Pacific Linguistics, Canberra.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Vainik, Ene
    2017 Multiplicity of motivation behind dynamic descriptions of emotion in Estonian. International Journal of Language and Culture4(1). 72–98.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Walsh, Michael
    1996 Body parts in Murrinh-Patha: Incorporation, grammar and metaphor. InHilary Chapel & Willam McGregor (eds.), The grammar of inalienability: A typological perspective on body part terms and the part-whole relation, 111–153. Berlin: De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110822137.327
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110822137.327 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cultural salience; language of emotion; MalakMalak; parts of speech
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error