Emotional valuation in Dalabon diminutives

Maia Ponsonnet, Nicholas Evans

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Dalabon is a polysynthetic language of Northern Australia, with only half a dozen remaining speakers. It belongs to the non-Pama-Nyungan Gunwinyguan family. There are no augmentative devices in Dalabon. Diminutives, on the other hand, are frequent in emotional speech, but have not previously been reported for the language. One reason is that they do not occur with equal frequency in all contexts, and it was the deployment of methods designed to elicit emotion-laden speech in Dalabon as part of the first author’s doctoral thesis (Ponsonnet 2014) which brought a much higher proportion of diminutive use – specifically the showing of three emotionally charged films about Aboriginal stories (Ten Canoes, Samson and Delilah and Rabbit-Proof Fence), for which commentary was sought.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEdinburgh Handbook of Evaluative Morphology
    Editors Nicola Grandi and Lívia Körtvélyessy
    Place of PublicationEdinburgh
    PublisherEdinburgh University Press
    ISBN (Print)9780748671754
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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