Love, Loss, and Hope Go Deeper than Language: Linguistic Semantics Has Only a Limited Role in the Interdisciplinary Study of Affect

Emotion Review 1 (1):19-20 (2009)
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Human emotional experience is organized at multiple levels, only some of which are easily penetrable by or dependent on language. Affects connected with mammalian parental care seem involved in Anna Wierzbicka's example of the experience of Jesus in Gethsemane. However, such affects are not characterizable as she requires, using only NSM's short list of linguistic semantic universals. Following her methodology, even using an enriched NSM really exhaustive of linguistic semantic universals, may involve serious losses of cognitive opportunity. Specifically, it forecloses any possibility of linking language with other cognitive resources to construct novel concepts, as may be needed to understand the deep biologically-based structure of emotion—which, after all, goes far deeper in us than language does



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Leonard David Katz
Harvard University

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Introduction.Margrit Pernau - 2016 - Contributions to the History of Concepts 11 (1):24-37.

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References found in this work

The origin of concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Précis of the origin of concepts.Susan Carey - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (3):113-124.

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