Keating looks at the relationship between a number of variables in Micronesia: (language, power, social space, and genes), and how they interact to create and maintain the political hierarchy. In particular she looks at how the honorific speech (involving chiefs and cheiftesses) encodes relationships of `power sharing' in regard to ownership of resources. Keating shows in particular how women have an important role in constructing discourse about honour and thus create connections between the political hierarchy and positive emotional states. Her work makes a contribution to the study of how gender and power are created, negotiated and perpetuated in language.

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