Tid: Torsdag 14 november 2013 kl. 15:00-17:00
Plats: C397, Södra huset, Frescati

Postseminarium äger rum direkt efter seminariet i institutionens pentry.


The 17 Oceanic languages spoken in the Torres and Banks Islands of northern Vanuatu commonly encode spatial relations by resorting to an absolute “geocentric” system of space reference. These systems all have in common a single cardinal axis oriented northwest–southeast, and at least a second topographical axis, contrasting inland–seawards. But while this general profile is typical of Oceanic, a detailed comparison of the 17 languages reveals unexpected diversity, with nine distinct geocentric systems represented in this small region. The aim of this study is to describe and analyse these nine systems, through the systematic examination of the paradigms of space directionals that encode them. By mapping all the vectors involved onto an etic grid, I outline and compare each language's emic categories. Based on these empirical observations, I then propose a unified theory to account for the similarities and differences among these space systems, and to reconstruct their historical develop¬ment since Proto Oceanic.

Ljuba Veselinova