Cultural perspectives on the linguistic representations of emotion and emotion events

G.R. Semin, C.A. Gorts, S. Nandram, A. Semin-Goossens

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    Abstract

    It is argued that the linguistic representation of emotions and events giving rise to them is influenced by the cultural regulation of the relationship between a person and others. Such cultural variations are expected to be reflected in how emotions and emotion events are represented in language. The two studies provide support for the hypothesis that in a culture where relationships and interdependence are valued emotion terms function as relationship-markers and emotion events are represented by the use of concrete linguistic terms when compared with cultures that emphasise the value of the individual. Moreover, we also found support for the argument that emotion terms function predominantly as self-markers in cultures that value individuality and that they are represented by more abstract terms (adjectives, nouns). The implications of these findings are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-28
    JournalCognition and Emotion
    Volume16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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