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Journal Article

Body and mind in the Trobriand Islands


Senft,  Gunter
Language and Cognition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Senft, G. (1998). Body and mind in the Trobriand Islands. Ethos, 26, 73-104. doi:10.1525/eth.1998.26.1.73.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-25E7-0
This article discusses how the Trobriand Islanders speak about body and mind. It addresses the following questions: do the linguistic datafit into theories about lexical universals of body-part terminology? Can we make inferences about the Trobrianders' conceptualization of psychological and physical states on the basis of these data? If a Trobriand Islander sees these idioms as external manifestations of inner states, then can we interpret them as a kind of ethnopsychological theory about the body and its role for emotions, knowledge, thought, memory, and so on? Can these idioms be understood as representation of Trobriand ethnopsychological theory?