Event Title

Presentation, "What makes Orang Asli languages interesting? Maniq as a case study of the richness of Aslian verbal lexicons"

Start Date

11-6-2014 1:15 PM

End Date

11-6-2014 2:30 PM

Description

ABSTRACT — Descriptions of Aslian languages suggest that they are particularly verb-friendly when considered from a cross-linguistic perspective. In Maniq (also referred to as Ten’en), this is manifested in frequent noun ellipsis, an impressive size of the verbal lexicon and remarkable semantic specificity of verbs, i.e. richness of information encoded in single items. In this talk, I will focus on Maniq verbs relating to perception in the context of ethnobiology. For instance, some Maniq ingestion verbs carry information about texture, at the same time presupposing ethnobiological knowledge about commonly ingested objects, e.g.paŋ ‘to eat fibrous tubers (e.g.Dioscorea glabra)’ vs. hãw ‘to eat non-fibrous tubers (e.g.Dioscorea orbiculata) and other starchy foods’. Also the adjective-like verbs referring to perceptual properties such as colors often contain quite detailed information and imply knowledge about the natural world, e.g. bayel ‘to be light green and slightly red (of young leaves)’. In conclusion, the rich verbal lexicon of Maniq (and other Aslian languages) is a valuable source of insights that may serve as a window into indigenous knowledge and reveal cultural preoccupations.

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Jun 11th, 1:15 PM Jun 11th, 2:30 PM

Presentation, "What makes Orang Asli languages interesting? Maniq as a case study of the richness of Aslian verbal lexicons"

ABSTRACT — Descriptions of Aslian languages suggest that they are particularly verb-friendly when considered from a cross-linguistic perspective. In Maniq (also referred to as Ten’en), this is manifested in frequent noun ellipsis, an impressive size of the verbal lexicon and remarkable semantic specificity of verbs, i.e. richness of information encoded in single items. In this talk, I will focus on Maniq verbs relating to perception in the context of ethnobiology. For instance, some Maniq ingestion verbs carry information about texture, at the same time presupposing ethnobiological knowledge about commonly ingested objects, e.g.paŋ ‘to eat fibrous tubers (e.g.Dioscorea glabra)’ vs. hãw ‘to eat non-fibrous tubers (e.g.Dioscorea orbiculata) and other starchy foods’. Also the adjective-like verbs referring to perceptual properties such as colors often contain quite detailed information and imply knowledge about the natural world, e.g. bayel ‘to be light green and slightly red (of young leaves)’. In conclusion, the rich verbal lexicon of Maniq (and other Aslian languages) is a valuable source of insights that may serve as a window into indigenous knowledge and reveal cultural preoccupations.