Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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Like most other Australian languages, Warlpiri – a Pama-Nyungan language of the Ngumpin-Yapa group – is rich in figurative expressions that include a body-part noun. In this article we examine the collocations involving two body parts: ‘ear’, which mostly relates to cognition; and ‘belly’, which mostly relates to emotion. Drawing on an extensive Warlpiri database, we analyse the semantic, figurative and syntactic dimensions of these collocations. We note how reflexive variants of certain collocations impose a non-literal aspectual reading, as also observed in Romance and Germanic languages . The article also highlights differences between the range of body-based emotion metaphors found in Warlpiri, and that reported for the non-Pama-Nyungan languages of Australia. We hypothesize that these differences sometimes reflect grammatical differences. In particular, Warlpiri allows body-part nouns in syntactic functions that rarely found in non-Pama-Nyungan languages, due to the prevalence of body-part noun incorporation in the latter group.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): body parts; cognition; emotion; figurative language; metaphors; reflexive constructions
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