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Referent-Wrecking in Korowai: A New Guinea abuse register as ethnosemiotic protest

Stasch, Rupert


Korowai of West Papua practice a register of transgressive vocabulary substitutions in which a referent's normal designation is replaced by another expression with independent semantic meaning. Uttering a substitute term in the presence of its referent is thought to damage the referent. Usually the terms are carefully avoided, but they can also be deliberately uttered in anger. Substitutions highlight uncanny iconic resemblances between entities that are otherwise mutually incongruous....[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2008
Type: Journal article
Source: Language in Society
DOI: 10.1017/S0047404508080019


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