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The encoding of emotions in Kakataibo (Panoan)

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Kakataibo (a Panoan language spoken in Peru) encodes emotional meanings by means of various morphological and prosodic devices. Some of them may be related to pragmatic implications (like the expression of affection by the diminutive), but others constitute dedicated emotional markers (as is the case of the illocutionary suffixes, augmentative nominalizers and nasalized imperatives). The fact that almost all the emotional markers carry nasalization is interpreted here as a possible case of language-internal sound-symbolism between nasalization and (negative) emotional meanings. This paper also shows that in Kakataibo we find a systematic pattern according to which dedicated emotional markers express negative emotions and never positive ones. Both the phonological and the semantic systems described in this paper may reveal patterns relevant for the cross-linguistic research on the grammar of emotions.
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Keywords: Amazonia; Kakataibo; Panoan; emotions; high pitch; nasalization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 19, 2018

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