Aspects of the Semantics of Emotions and Feelings in Dalabon (South-Western Arnhem Land)

Abstract : This article explores the Dalabon roots kangu ("belly") and yolh ("feelings"), used in Dalabon to form expressions that describe emotions. The semantics of compounds using kangu reveals a widespread metaphor whereby the belly is viewed as a more or less malleable receptacle of external impacts on the person. This metaphor is activated in ritual. On the other hand, the compounds using yolh show that not all emotions originate from external impacts; some stem from the person proper. This semantic division shows that the notion of autonomous self is part of the conceptual landscape of Dalabon speakers.
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Maïa Ponsonnet. Aspects of the Semantics of Emotions and Feelings in Dalabon (South-Western Arnhem Land). Australian Journal of Anthropology, Wiley, 2010, 21, pp.367-389. ⟨hal-00563720⟩

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