Language, Culture, and Mind: Natural Constructions and Social Kinds

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Based on fieldwork carried out in a Mayan village in Guatemala, this book examines local understandings of mind through the lens of language and culture. It focuses on a variety of grammatical structures and discursive practices through which mental states are encoded and social relations are expressed: inalienable possessions, such as body parts and kinship terms; interjections, such as 'ouch' and 'yuck'; complement-taking predicates, such as 'believe' and 'desire'; and grammatical categories such as mood, status and evidentiality. And, more generally, it develops a theoretical framework through which both community-specific and human-general features of mind may be contrasted and compared. It will be of interest to researchers and students working within the disciplines of anthropology, linguistics, psychology, and philosophy.