Abstract

An important issue in the study of the language of emotion language, from a cognitive perspective, is to investigate how language conceptualizes emotions. Since the 1980s, linguists have been exploring how abstract concepts may be based on conceptual metaphors for bodily, physical concepts. However, conceptual metaphors have been shown not to be a universally preferred strategy in conceptualizing emotion events. Nevertheless, the factor influencing the selection of metaphorical strategies is underexplored and opaque. This study thus sets out to accomplish two goals. First, I postulate that limitation on the linguistic mechanism, namely, nominalization of emotion terms, may constrain language users' selection of metaphorical strategies in conceptualizing emotion events. My results show that languages having emotion nouns are found to have comparatively rich metaphorical expressions for emotions. To the contrary, in the languages where the linguistic mechanism to encode abstract emotion concepts is inadequate or unavailable, the metaphorical strategy is dispreferred. Second, as emotion events are inherently events of causality, and are characterized by deploying event participants, I examine how grammatical constructions, that is, recurrent syntactic patterns with their associated functions, are made available by the conventional resources of a language, and I investigate how language users in their daily communication conceptualize emotion events and portray participant relations by choosing different grammatical constructions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 65-92
Launched on MUSE
2011-08-03
Open Access
No
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