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ven. 03/04/2015 Séminaire du laboratoire DDL - Maïa Ponsonnet et Eva Schultze-Berndt
ISH, salle Elise Rivet
Conférence de :
  • Maïa Ponsonnet (Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage)
  • Eva Schultze-Berndt (Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester)
dans le cadre des séminaires DDL

Conférence de Maïa Ponsonnet : "The semantic domain of fear in dalabon and kriol (northern Australia" (9h30-10h30)

After presenting my research questions on the linguistic encoding of emotions, and the linguistic context of my research, I will illustrate my methodology with a case study on the lexicalization of fear in three languages: English, Dalabon and Barunga Kriol (northern Australia).

Dalabon is a severely threatened Australian language that is currently being replaced by Barunga Kriol, a variety of Australian creole. As an English-based creole, Barunga Kriol receives influences from English, as well as from Australian languages, including Dalabon. I will show to which extent Barunga Kriol resembles English with respect to the lexicalization of fear, to which extent it resembles Dalabon, or neither of them. I will then suggest explanations for the Barunga Kriol patterns of lexicalization.

Conférence d’Eva Schultze-Berndt : "The grammar of fear in Australian languages and beyond" (11h00-12h00)

This paper examines the phenomenon of grammatical markers – labelled variously apprehensive, timitive or evitative – which encode modal meanings of undesirable possibility, as in the second clause of the English utterance Watch out for cars, (otherwise) you might get run over. In other words, they mark an event as one to be feared and to be avoided, and, as in the example above, are often used in conjunction with an imperative clause. Although markers with meanings of this types have been described e.g. for Australian, Papuan and Austronesian languages, they have been virtually ignored in the semantic literature on modality. After an illustration of the phenomenon from a range of languages, I will in particular address the phenomenon of the historical sources of such markers. Attested sources include complementizers with main verbs of fear (Lichtenberk 1995), prohibitives (Pakendorff & Schalley 2007), but also general modal markers (Verstraete 2005) and conjunctions expressing temporal sequence such as German nachher ‘afterwards’, Dutch straks ‘soon, later’ (Boogaart 2009), and Northern Australian Kriol bambai (derived from English by and by; Angelo & Schultze-Berndt to appear). In the latter case, the semantic change from temporal to apprehensive marker can be argued to involve pragmatic strengthening in two respects: first, by conventionalization of an invited inference from temporal succession to causality, and further from (general) caused event to undesirable caused event.


Angelo, Denise & Eva Schultze-Berndt. to appear. Beware of bambai – lest it be apprehensive. In Felicity Meakins & Carmel O’Shannessy (eds.), Language Contact in Australia. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Boogaart, Ronny. 2009. Een retorische straks-constructie. In Ronny Boogaart, Josien Lalleman, Marijke Mooijaart & Marijke van der Wal (eds.), Woorden wisselen. Voor Ariane van Santen bij haar afscheid van de Leidse universiteit, 167–183. Leiden: Stichting Neerlandistiek Leiden (SNL-reeks 20).

Lichtenberk, František. 1995. Apprehensional epistemics. In Joan Bybee & Suzanen Fleischman (eds.), Modality in grammar and discourse, 293–328. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Pakendorf, Brigitte & Ewa Schalley. 2007. From possibility to prohibition: A rare grammaticalization pathway. Linguistic Typology 11: 515-540.

Verstraete, Jean-Christophe. 2005. The semantics and pragmatics of composite mood marking: The non-Pama-Nyungan languages of northern Australia. Linguistic Typology 9: 223–268.



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