11/19: Paul Kockelman


It will now take place in room 702 Hamilton Hall, at the same time (6pm on Thursday, 11/19).

Harrison White and Corinne Kirchner, co-organizers of the “Workshop on Meaning: Language and Socio-cultural Processes” are pleased to announce:

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Barnard College, New York

“Possession and Personhood: At the Intersection of Grammatical Categories, Discourse Patterns, Cognitive Frames and Cultural Practices”

Columbia University
School of International and Public Affairs – Room 801
420 West 118th street (east side of Amsterdam Avenue.), New York City

Thursday November 19, 2009, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

This talk analyzes the relation between inalienable possessions and personhood among speakers of Q’eqchi’-Maya, in Guatemala. Broadly, inalienable possessions are things inherently possessed by humans, e.g., arms, legs; mothers, fathers; hearts and names. The relation between those possessions and possessors is analyzed in varied domains — from grammatical categories and discursive practices to illness cures and life-cycle rituals. This relation is figured differently by domain, but with strong resonance across domains. The illustrations reflect one speech community, but the discussion shows the relevance in cross-linguistic patterns underlying possession.


All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP to: Iva Petkova – iop2101@columbia.edu

Sponsored by:
Institute for Social and Economic Research & Policy (ISERP)

Related paper posted at:


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