Michael Manahan will present his paper, “The Depths of Discomfort in Tagalog,” at the Natural Semantic Metalanguage Conference 2024 (NSM-Con2024) with the theme, “Living in Translation.”

The conference aims to “share, discuss, and showcase research from around the world that uses the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) as a framework” and will feature topics ranging from “emotions, cultural semantics and pragmatics, idioms, landscape, project reports and much more.” During last year’s edition, Manahan presented “Sakit Unpacked,” which won the Bert Peeters Prize for Best Student Project for that year. 

Below is the abstract of Manahan’s presentation:


The Depths of Discomfort in Tagalog

This presentation builds upon my previous research on the NSM explication of sakit—the Tagalog term broadly encompassing ‘pain’—and its related expressions, hapdi (typically indicative of an external pain source) and kirot(typically indicative of an internal pain source), within the speech culture. Utilizing the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) semantic molecules for body parts and spatial expressions such as SKIN [m], AT THE TOP [m], and AT THE BOTTOM [m], this update aims to refine the explications of these Tagalog pain terms, which previously distinguished between physical and emotional pain. This refinement seeks to enhance our understanding of the multidimensionality of pain within the Tagalog context.

Keywords: pain, natural semantic metalanguage, NSM,
metalanguage, emotion semantics, Filipino, Tagalog

For more information, you may visit the NSM Commons website

Published by UP Department of Linguistics