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Semantic Field

Senior Sem
by

Crystal Abello

on 8 November 2012

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Transcript of Semantic Field

The Language of Emotions:
An Analysis of a Semantic Field

P.N Johnson-Laird & Keith Oatley



Crystal Abello OUTLINE
The Theory
Alternative Theories
Similar Works
Communicative Function of Emotions
Theory Predictions
The Sample
Syntax/Experience
Analysable Meaning
Semantic Field
Analyses of Emotion Words
Conclusion The Theory The theory assumes that emotions have a two-fold communicative function, both externally amongst members of the species, and internally within the brain as to bypass complex inferences.

Five Basic Emotion Modes; happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust

According to this "Communicative" theory, there should be a set of terms that refer to basic emotions, and these terms should have no internal semantics, since they cannot be analysed into anything more basic, such as a prototype or a set of semantic features.

"Root Emotion Word" Alternative Theories 1. Emotion partly depends on a heterogeneous set of events that occur to the person having the experience.

"If one should seek to name each particular one of [the emotions] of which the human heart is the seat, it is plain that the limit to their number would lie in the introspective vocabulary of the seeker, each race of men having found names for some shade of feelings which other races have left undiscriminated." (William James)

2. An emotion is a sequence that includes an eliciting condition, a cognitive evaluation, physiological activation, a change of action readiness, and finally an action.
3. From the sequential standpoint emotion depends on a prototype, rather than a set of necessary and sufficient conditions. Similar Works Wierzbicka analyses tries to prove that all emotion terms can in principle be analysed as Laird ,Oatley suggests only some emotion terms have a semantic analysis, whereas others indicate unanalysable primitives.

Ortony, Clore, and Foss's work gathered a large corpus of mental and affective words, and carried out a componential analysis of them in order, in part, to distinguish between those words that referred to emotions and those that did not. Communicative Function of Emotions The central assumption is that emotions serve a communicative function both within the brain and within the social group


In both cases, emotions are simple signals that propagate pervasively within the systems. Theory Predictions 1. Emotional terminology should be analysable into coherent categories.

2. All terms indicating emotions ultimately depend on just the five basic families or emotion modes; happiness, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.

3. Words referring to emotions will reflect the structure of emotional experience; some words may be used to refer to basic emotions, which can be experienced without the experience, whereas other words will designate emotions that can be experienced only with a known cause or a known object. The Sample First they tried to use the set of 196 words Fehr and Russel obtained

Second they included words in Clore's corpus which contained an affective component

Third they used the words of Tiller's corpus Syntax/Experience... Syntax-When analysing emotion words its important to focus on the root morpheme, many of these root morphemes take appropriate suffixes to allow them to serve in all four categories; nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.


Experience- What you feel "embarrassment" for example

Concept- A mental construct that enables you to categorize your experience as one of "embarrassment"

Description- A way of putting your experience, presumably by way of tis categorization, into words. Analysable Meaning According to the theory, there is a set of basic emotion modes that correspond to internal signals that can impinge on consciousness

Basic emotion signals have no internal structure that can be broken down within the system

It supports the theory in that there is no way in which words that refer to the subjective experience corresponding to these modes can be analysed semantically

Emotion-blind-unable to experience emotions

X feels sad = X feels as one does when one thinks that what one has desired to happen has not happened and will not happen Analysable Meaning Cont The meaning of "sad" is given by a universal semantic primitive corresponding to one of the five basic emotion modes?

Laird and Oatley feel that there is a need for the experience of basic emotions, an awareness of what caused it and a knowledge of its consequences.

The subjective experience goes along with these observable eliciting conditions to understand "sadness" for example; therefore, when you observe others in similar situations displaying similar signs you can say they are having a similar experience of "sadness"

Causes and associations that are part of a prototype of the emotion infer the emotion of the speaker. For example "the person I love has left me." It is reasonable to infer that the speaker feels sad. Semantic Field Words Elaborated 1. The word may presuppose a more restricted range of application of the basic concept, "leave" presupposes that its subject is at a particular location.

2. The word may depend on a particular modification of the concept such as an adverbial modification or manner, "lurch" is a particular way of moving.

3. The word may signify a causal relation into which the basic concept enters, to "shift" something is to cause it to move/

4. The word may introduce an intentional component into which the basic concept enters, "chase". You can accidently shift something, but you canno accidentally chase it. Semantic Field Cont... Words Indicating Emotions 0. Generic emotions "emotions" and "feelings"
1. Basic emotions "happiness" and "sadness"
2. Emotional relations "love" and "hate"
3. Caused emotions "gladness" and "horror"
4. Causatives "irritate" and "reassure"
5. Emotional goals "desire" and "avarice"
6. Complex emotions "embarrassment" and "pity" Analyses of Emotion Words 1. Basic Emotional Terms-Our theory posits five basic emotion modes, and so we can predict that there should be words referring directly to these emotions or to simple modifications of them. These words should accordingly denote emotions that can be experienced without the experience knowing their cause though obviously they can also be sued to refer emotions experienced for a known cause.

2. Emotional Relations-Emotions are typically about someone or something;they are more likely to be experienced in relation to individuals or their actions that merely in a vacuum. Hence, one should expect there to be words that refer to the relation between someone who experiences an emotion and its object, "James fears Joan"

3. Caused Emotions-Certain words indicating emotions normally imply feeling that has a cause known to the individual experience. Analyses of Emotion Words Cont... 4. Causatives and Emotions-Caused emotions rely on causative verbs. These verbs express the relation between the cause of an emotion and the person who experiences it.

5. Emotional goals-Emotions often function as motive that lead to characteristics behaviors designed to achieve goals.

6. Complex Emotions-Depend on a propositional content reflecting the high-level cognitive evaluation giving rise to them. Emotions function as two-fold communications that enable behaviors with a minimal load on the information processing system within organisms and on the communicative system between organisms.
Human beings can experience emotions for no reason and can also experience emotions that have an object, cause, goal and a complex emotion.
All these types of emotion depend of a small set of emotional modes.
The meanings of emotional terms are neither arbitrary nor unanalysable.
The semantic field is based on the five emotional modes that are unanalysable and have no internal semantic structure In Sum Conclusion 1. Emotional terms relate to an organized semantic field
2.Their meanings depend on the five basic emotional modes
3.They divide up into coherent categories; basic emotions, emotional relations, caused emotions, causes of emotions, emotional goals and complex emotions The End
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