Show Summary

In the Haida language different instrumental verbal prefixes are used to describe whether the action is accomplished by means of the back (carrying); by shooting or hammering; by pushing with the hands; by pulling; by means of a current of water (floating); by stamping or treading upon; by kicking; by chopping or clubbing; by means of the shoulder; with the fingers; by means of a stick; by means of the voice; by a stream of water pouring out (on a fire); with the lips (spitting, smacking); by means of a fire acting from without (being burned); by means of fire acting within the object ("flames came out of it"); by leading, pulling, towing; by looking (to charm); with a knife; by means of the teeth; by grasping with the hands; with the face turned toward the door; by canoe; with the arms (waving); by tying, etc.2

In Teton Siouan different instrumental prefixes are employed to describe whether an act is accomplished by means of the foot, by cutting, by shooting or punching, by pushing with the hands, by striking, by means of the mouth (talking, singing), and a more general form for handling in general, or not handling, as, "She let him alone."3

The Abipones of South America

call a wound generically lalaglet. If it be inflicted by the teeth of man or beast, they call it naagek; if by a knife or sword, nicharhek; if by a lance, noarek, if by an arrow, nainek.1

In the language of the West African Ewe a number of interjectional adverbial roots are associated with verbs to describe particular aspects of activity and give the effect of word pictures. Thus, "to go" is expressed in as many as 33 of its particular aspects —slowly, briskly, sauntering, hurrying, upright, stooping, shuffling, limping, waddling, slouching, staggering, stumbling, wearily, frantically, etc. In addition, the descriptive adverbs may have comparative forms, representing the subject as large or small. Undoubtedly imitative gestures as well as imitative sounds originally accompanied these expressions.2

2Swanton, J.R.n/an/an/an/a, "Halda," in Boas, . . . , 1: 219–227 (résumé).

3 Swanton, J. R., "Siouan," in Boas, Handbook . . . , 1: 902–903 (résumé).

1 Dobrizhoffer, M., An Account of the Abipones, 2: 186.

2 Westermann, D., Grammatik der Ewe Sprache, 83, 130.


Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options

Title: Handbook

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options

Title: Handbook

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Boas, ed., "Handbook," Handbook in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed May 23, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=VNYAZ8JN8692BPI.

MLA: . "Handbook." Handbook, edited by Boas, Vol. 1, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 23 May. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=VNYAZ8JN8692BPI.

Harvard: (ed.), 'Handbook' in Handbook. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 23 May 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=VNYAZ8JN8692BPI.