Book chapter

Affective meaning in language

ContributorsSoriano, Cristinaorcid
Published inLanguage and Emotion. An International Handbook, Editors Schiewer, G. L., Altarriba J. & Chin Ng B., p. 489-510
PublisherBerlin : Walter de Gruyter
Publication date2022

Affective meaning is pervasive in language. In this chapter we discuss its presence at multiple levels of linguistic analysis, with special attention to the lexicon. In a first introduction to the phenomenon, we explain and illustrate two types of affective meaning (denotative and connotative) and three ways to account for it (categorical, dimensional and feature-based approaches) transversal to all levels of analysis. We then illustrate how affect is communicated in phonology, morphology, the lexicon, and syntax, with examples from different languages. The discussion of the lexicon is further organized around two variables: (a) the word's grammatical class, where we discuss emotion concepts as nouns (e.g., joy), verbs (e.g., to embarrass), adjectives (e.g., sad) and adverbs (e.g., surprisingly); and (b) the word's figurativeness, where we analyze affective meaning in literal (e.g. to rage) and figurative expressions (e.g., to erupt) and discuss the privileged link between figurative language and emotion.

  • Affect
  • Emotion
  • Language
NoteVolume 1 of the multi-volume work "Language and Emotion" Series Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science [HSK], Volume 46/1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110347524-023
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
SORIANO, Cristina. Affective meaning in language. In: Language and Emotion. An International Handbook. Berlin : Walter de Gruyter, 2022. p. 489–510. doi: 10.1515/9783110347524-023
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Book chapter (Accepted version)

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