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The Trobriand Islanders' concept of "karewaga" and the general ethics of field research

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Senft,  Gunter
Language and Cognition Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Categories across Language and Cognition, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Senft, G. (2011). The Trobriand Islanders' concept of "karewaga" and the general ethics of field research. Talk presented at 12th International Pragmatics Conference. Manchester. 2011-07-03 - 2011-07-08.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-085E-2
Abstract
The Trobriand Islanders' concept of "karewaga" can be glossed not only as " authority" but also as " responsibility, jurisdiction, competence, sphere of influence", and so on. After a lexical semantic analysis of this concept based on the actual usage of the term in everyday Kilivila contexts of social interaction this paper points out that many of the ethical principles which are rooted in Western philosophy and thought and which should guide any field research - be it anthropologically, linguistically, cognitively or sociologically oriented - find their equivalent in the Trobriand Islanders' indigenous concept of "karewaga".