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I recently had a visit to my site from Oahu, where I lived for a while… I thought I would choose four samples from my memories of Hawai’i and illustrate Talmy’s Reference frames…
Anyway, here they are:
a. Ground Based
“The musubi is next to the register”
This example accesses a single reference point and elaborates on the position of one object in relation to the other by indicating its intrinsic geometric location in space.
b. Field Based
“Matsumoto’s Shave Ice is just south of the North Shore.”
This accesses an encompassing secondary reference point (Earth) which is implied in the use of “just south of”, by using the cardinal direction on the earth in relation to the other landmark “the North Shore” the speaker is providing the listener with a way to navigate to Matsumoto’s Shave Ice. (I recommend getting the red beans and vanilla ice cream with your shave ice if you ever go. http://www.matsumotoshaveice.com/)
c. Guidepost Based (in a Hawai’ian and Pidgin English code switch)
“Wea you stay? Makai side?”
“No, mauka side.”
[Makai approximately means “on the side of the ocean”]
[Mauka approximately means “on the side of the mountains”]
In this example, the primary reference point is the respondent’s house (the place where the respondent stay (lives)). In the question makai (the ocean) represents and encompassing reference point. In the answer mauka (the mountains) represent the external reference point.
On an island the ocean is encompassing and all surrounding, but the mountains are a physical landmark that in this kind of usage are not considered encompassing. Because the most people live between the ocean and the mountains on Oahu they represent boundaries rather than expanses.
I was thinking that perhaps the makai/mauka distinction might reflect a kind of physical center-periphery schema that is habitually understood on Oahu since the mountains are (more or less) in the middle/center of the island and the ocean is the periphery.
Also, most houses are contained within a taurus-shaped belt of land that is conceptually gradient in terms of being closer to the ocean or closer to the mountains. Consequently you understand your house in relation to these landmarks; your house is either more characteristically mauka side or more characteristically makai side.
d. Projector Based
The tennis courts are to the right of Waikiki Yacht Club and to the left of The Bus at Ala Moana.
In this situation, the speaker (who is the secondary reference point) is projecting a left/right orientation from the speaker’s perspective) onto benchmark locations in a city (the Waikiki Yacht Club & The Bus).