Documenting Affective Stance in Yaminawa

Vortragende(r) Kelsey Neely
Institution(en) University of Texas at Austin
Workshop/Tagung Lecture Series "Language: Documentation and Theory (ELAR / ZAS)"
Datum 06.05.2022
Uhrzeit 16:00 Uhr

Language: Documentation and Theory

The Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW) together with the Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS) are delighted to announce the launch of a new lecture series. Our aim is to give a forum to linguistic work that advances or is based on the documentation of underdescribed languages, thus not only supporting linguistic research but also honoring the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032). For inquiries, please contact Mandana Seyfeddinipur (ELAR) or Manfred Krifka (ZAS),

Due to Corona measures, participation in the lecture room of ZAS is restricted (please inform Manfred Krifka if you want to join). Participation is possible via Zoom (Meeting-ID 636 0651 0838, Meeting Link 


In this talk, I describe how the documentation of affective stance in Yaminawa has developed from 2013 to the present. The Yaminawa dialect complex extends across western Amazonia from the state of Acre in Brazil, through the regions of Ucayali and Madre de Dios in Peru, to the department of Pando in northern Bolivia. This talk presents data from the Peruvian varieties (Yaminahua, Nahua, and Sharanahua) as spoken in Sepahua, Ucayali region. I treat affective stance as an interactional phenomenon and use the notion of stancetaking (see DuBois 2007, Engelbretson 2007) to analyze the way in which speakers use linguistic form to position themselves in relation to objects in the discourse as well as with their interlocutors. The linguistic features used in affective stance are present at multiple levels of linguistic analysis: morphology, prosody, phonetics, and the structure of the interaction. I also explore the structure of the emotion lexicon in Yaminawa and the cultural attitudes regarding the expression of different affects, with the goal of developing a holistic model for the documentation and description of affective expression. Finally, I discuss how the inventory of affective stancetaking features, most notably affective verbal suffixes, has grown over the years as my linguistic competence has improved and my relationship with Yaminawa speakers has evolved.