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.
Paul Kockelman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University.
1. Language, culture, mind: emblems of the status human; 2. Inalienable possessions: what hearts, mothers, and shadows have in common; 3. Interclausal relations: how to enclose a mind by disclosing a sign; 4. Myths about time and theories of mind: why the moon married the sun; 5. Other minds and possible worlds: when psychological depth is dialogical breadth; 6. Interjections: why the center of emotion is at the edge of language; 7. Conclusion: natural constructions and social kinds.