Les figures du doute en langue dalabon (Australie du Nord)

Maia Ponsonnet

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article describes a number of linguistic expressions of doubt in the Dalabon language of Northern Australia. Here "doubt" refers to a family of experiences encompassing uncertainty, mistrust, hesitation... I present two important Dalabon verbal roots: njirrk, which builds upon the social paradigm of communication deficit; and kurduh, which anchors the description of doubt within practical situations. Dalabon also encourages the expression of doubt within discourse, thanks to a number of frequent rhetorical formulas. In none of these three modes of expression is doubt construed as a primarily cognitive experience. This contrasts with the use made of the French words "doute", "douter", essentially defined in reference with the cognitive domain: "Western" culture has indeed based important cultural developments upon this aspect of doubt. This reliance on social, or practical, rather than cognitive paradigms seems characteristic of the Dalabon conceptual landscape.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)151-164
    JournalJournal of the Societe des Oceanistes (Journal de la societe des oceanistes/Journal societe des oceanistes)
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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