[WS106] Emotions in Language, Culture, Cognition


Authors : Prof. Dr Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk & Dr Paul Wilson (University of Lodz, Poland)

Emotions in Language, Culture, Cognition [EmiL]

Workshop Objectives:

Research on emotions has developed vibrantly over recent years. New ideas from cognitive linguistics, corpus-based and culture studies as well as findings in first and second language acquisition, experimental psychology and language evolution have shed more light on the nature of feelings and emotions. The workshop aims at finding out what lines of thinking about emotion concepts are common to these various research paths and what innovative evidence is provided by various methods of emotion investigation and different language systems.

The main objective of the proposed workshop is to illuminate the nature of emotion concepts from various theoretical perspectives, to see how emotion concepts function in the cross-linguistic context and what the parallels are with emotion expression in other systems of communication (gestures, art, etc).

As one of the main themes of the conference is the Language–Cognition Interface, research involving emotions is likely to be one of the central discussion topics. The proposed workshop will focus on Language Evolution, the Conceptualization of Emotion Concepts, Corpus Studies of Emotions, as well as Bilingualism and Second Language Learning with respect to emotion concepts and their linguistic manifestation.


Workshop themes:

The potential influence of Approach Motivation and Emotion on the Evolution of Language is a relatively unexplored field. The importance of considering both the effect of approach motivation and emotion on language evolution is important when one considers that emotions are dispositions to act that mobilise organisms to either acquire rewards or defend against threats (Lang and Bradley, 2008). As emotions are directed by language (Barrett, 2006) it is unlikely that they featured in the genesis of language, but they might have facilitated its subsequent development. In contrast, Wilson and Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (2012) argue that the engagement of early humans in approach motor action could have facilitated the origin of language through the development of double-scope blending (cf. Fauconnier and Turner, 2002).

The topic of Cross-linguistic Conceptualization of Emotions and its exploration in Emotion Corpus Studies has been subject to numerous cognitive linguistics and corpus-based studies (Dziwirek & Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, 2010; Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Wilson, in press; Wilson (Ed.) 2012). One of the workshop objectives is to try to present the outcomes of this investigation and its relevance to the Sapir-Whorf Relativity hypothesis.

The dynamic constructivist approach has challenged the belief that culture and language have relatively stable and context independent effects on cognition (Hong, Morris, Chiu, and Benet-Martinez, 2000). Dynamic constructivism proposes that culture creates a loose but coordinated and organised network of schemas that comprise social norms, expectations, values, beliefs, attitudes and opinions. As bilingual individuals move from one cultural context to another they switch networks, which allows them to access context-relevant cultural information.

The workshop proposes to look at studies subsuming Emotional Experiences of Bilinguals and finding evidence for the dynamicity of emotion concepts with regard to the particular language used (Perunovic and Perunovic, 2012). Following this line of discussion, the questions posed from a second language acquisition perspective are to what extent monolinguals from one culture learn to experience the emotions of another language and culture and how this is influenced by maturation and length of exposure to the foreign language and culture (e. g., Caldwell-Harris et al., 2012).

General format & Participants

One-day workshop with presentations of about 20-25 minutes each followed by a discussion of the papers within the same thematic group. A concluding summary by the organizers will be followed by a general discussion.

The workshop has a multidisciplinary character. It is addressed to linguists of different research specialisations, cooperating with psychologists, philosophers and culture specialists, discourse and sign language analysts, and semiotics scholars.

Scholars who expressed their preliminary interest to participate in the workshop: Cristina Soriano (Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences), Larry Herzberg (University of Wisconsin), Anna Ogarkova (Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences), Margret Selting (University of Potsdam), Heli Tissari (University of Helsinki), Vanda Zammuner (University of Padova).

No external support is provided for the speakers.


Selected References

 Barrett, L. F. (2006). ‘Solving the emotion paradox: Categorization and the experience of emotion.’ Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10 (1), 20-46.

Caldwell-Harris, C. L., Staroselsky, M., Smashnaya, S. and N. Vasilyeva (2012). ‘Emotional resonances of bilinguals’ two languages vary with age of arrival: The Russian-English bilingual experience in the U.S’. In: Wilson, P. A. (ed.), Dynamicity in Emotion Concepts. Łódź Studies in Language, Volume 27. Frankfurt a. Main: Peter Lang, 373- 395.

Dziwirek, K. & B. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk. (2010). Complex Emotions & Grammatical Mismatches. Berlin: Mouton de Gryuter.

Fauconnier, G. and M. Turner (2002). The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind's Hidden Complexities. New York: Basic Books.

Hong, Y. Y., Morris, M., Chiu, C. Y. and V. Benet-Martinez (2000). ‘Multicultural minds: A dynamic constructivist approach to culture and cognition’. American Psychologist, 55, 709-720.

Lang, P. J. and M. B. Bradley (2008). ‘Appetitive and defensive motivation is the substrate of emotion’. In: Elliot, J. E. (Ed.), Handbook of Approach and Avoidance Motivation. New York: Psychology Press, 51-65.

Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, B., & P. A. Wilson (in press), ‘English fear and Polish strach in contrast: GRID approach and cognitive corpus linguistic methodology’. In: J. Fontaine, J. Scherer, & C. Soriano (Eds.), Components of Emotional Meaning: A Sourcebook. Oxford: OUP.

Perunovic, W. Q. E. and M. Perunovic (2012). ‘Language and emotion: The case of bicultural individuals’. In: Wilson, P. A. (ed.), Dynamicity in Emotion Concepts. Łódź Studies in Language, Volume 27. Frankfurt a. Main: Peter Lang, 359-372.

Wilson, P. A. and B. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (2012). ‘Emotion, approach-avoidance motivation, and blending in the evolution of language’. In: Scott-Phillips, T. C., Tamariz, M., Cartmill, E. A., and Hurford, J. R. (eds.), The Evolution of Language. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference (EVOLANG 9). Singapore, World Scientific, 567-568.

Wilson, P. A. (Ed.) (2012). Dynamicity in Emotion Concepts. Lodz Studies in Language, Volume 25. Frankfurt a. Main: Peter Lang.

23.07.2013   14:00-16:00

Chair: Paul WILSON

14:00 - 14:30 Paul WILSON
Approach-Avoidance Orientation, Emotion and the Evolution of Language
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14:30 - 15:00 Larry HERZBERG
Are Emotional Feelings Perceptual?
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15:00 - 15:30 Vanda ZAMMUNER
Knowledge of emotion concepts: structure of basic emotions on the basis of an intensity-level linguistic production task
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15:30 - 16:00 Eva-Maria ENGELEN
The role of language for getting to know the emotions of oneself and the emotions of others
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23.07.2013   16:30-18:30


16:30 - 17:00 Anna OGARKOVA et al.
Metaphor in emotion concepts: experimental testing of corpora evidence
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17:00 - 17:30 Clara MOLINA et al.
Integrating psychological and lexicographic insights into the research of emotion concepts
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17:30 - 18:00 Agnieszka MIKOŁAJCZUK
On benefits and problems of research into the cross-linguistic (and cross-cultural) conceptualization of emotions (using SHAME/WSTYD as an example)
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18:00 - 18:30 Paul WILSON et al.
A Contrastive Analysis of Shame and Guilt in English and Polish
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25.07.2013   10:30-12:30

Chair: Paul WILSON

10:30 - 11:00 Zouheir MAALEJ
The language of emotion in Tunisian Arabic: A view from cultural embodiment
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11:00 - 11:30 Lucia GOMEZ
The emotional experiencer in French (L1) and Spanish (L1/L2): classification, description and typological analysis
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11:30 - 12:00 Anna KRZYŻANOWSKA
Comparative Semantics today: essential questions and answers
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12:00 - 12:30 Vita KALNBERZINA
Life-long effects of foreign language anxiety
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25.07.2013   14:00-16:00


14:00 - 14:30 Rafika NAJJAR
Expressions of emotion Like the exclamation through poetry collection: 'Aghani ELhayah' Abu El Kacem Chebbi
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14:30 - 15:00 Maria DOLORES PORTO et al.
Constructing Self-Disclosure and Empathy in Oral Emotion Discourse
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15:00 - 15:30 Zuzanna LAMŻA
Tell Me What You Feel - Translating Emotions to Text in Audio Description
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15:30 - 16:00 Barbara LEWANDOWSKA-TOMASZCZYK et al.
Audiencing and Emotions in Online Exchanges
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