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A key question in categorisation is to what extent people categorise in the same way, or differently. This paper examines categorisation of the body in Punjabi, an Indo-European language spoken in Pakistan and India. First, an inventory of body part terms is presented, illustrating how Punjabi speakers segment and categorise the body. There are some noteworthy terms in the inventory, which illustrate categories in Punjabi that are unusual when compared to other languages presented in this volume. Second, Punjabi speakers' conceptualisation of the relationship between body parts is explored. While some body part terms are viewed as being partonomically related, others are viewed as being in a locative relationship. It is suggested that there may be key ways in which languages differ in both the categorisation of the body into parts, and in how these parts are related to one another. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Language Sciences

Publication Date





241 - 261