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The ethno-linguistic relationship between smelling and kissing. A Southeast Asian case study

Abstract : This paper investigates smell/kiss colexification, the lexical semantic association of transitive verbs of smelling with verbs expressing certain types of conventionalised gestures of greeting and/or affection (i.e., kissing). Whilst found sporadically in the languages of the world, smell/kiss colexification is common in languages of all families of Southeast Asia. The prevalence of the lexical association reflects an ancient, endemic Southeast Asian practice in which kissing involves the nose, rather than the mouth, as the primary organ. This study demonstrates the potential of lexical semantic typology to contribute to identifying linguistic areas and cultural practices shared across them.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 3:24:09 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:59:37 AM
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Antoinette Schapper. The ethno-linguistic relationship between smelling and kissing. A Southeast Asian case study. Oceanic Linguistics, University of Hawai'i Press, 2019, 58 (1), pp.92-109. ⟨halshs-02935662⟩

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