Book chapter

Language family similarity effect: emotion terms in Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, and Polish

Published inComponents of emotional meaning: A sourcebook, Editors Fontaine, J., Scherer, K.R. & Soriano, C., p. 502-506
PublisherOxford : Oxford University Press
Publication date2013

This chapter explores the idea that the meanings of emotion words in typologically closer languages bear a higher resemblance to each other than to the corresponding words in languages from a different language group. We test this prediction in a case-study of emotional meaning construction in five Slavic languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak and Polish ) as compared the meaning profiles of emotion words in US and UK varieties of English (Germanic languages). Although the results largely confirm our prediction, highlighting additionally the capability of GRID to capture yet smaller-scale linguistic and cultural affinities within the Slavic group, the observed language family similarity effect is considerably small. This finding contributes to the universality claim in the studies on emotion conceptualization and contradicts previous claims about a remarkable cultural ‘untranslatability' of Slavic emotion concepts.

  • Slavic emotion concepts
  • Cross-cultural differences
  • Language family similarity effect
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
OGARKOVA, Anna, PANASENKO, Nataliya, LEWANDOWSKA-TOMASZCZYK, Barbara. Language family similarity effect: emotion terms in Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, and Polish. In: Components of emotional meaning: A sourcebook. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2013. p. 502–506. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592746.003.0042
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Book chapter (Published version)

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