Chapter published in:Consensus and Dissent: Negotiating Emotion in the Public Space
Edited by Anne Storch
[Culture and Language Use 19] 2017
► pp. 81–104
Emotions in Jamaican
African conceptualizations, emblematicity and multimodality in discourse and public spaces
This contribution deals with expressions and conceptualizations of emotions in Jamaican. By drawing on various examples and their performances in public and digital spaces, this paper argues that what we conceive as ‘emotion’ is indeed a complex and often culturally defined phenomenon which intertwines with a range of related concepts. The focus here lies on expressions of emotions which reflect African cultural conceptualizations. This also includes discussing a West African holistic and embodied conceptualization of ‘feeling’ as compared to the Western notion of ‘emotion’. Moreover, the chapter discusses the multimodality of emotional expressions by looking at examples in a few Jamaican movies, songs and social media. I argue that certain emotional expressions are culturally emblematic and that their performance serves as a marker of identity by drawing on the various functions of language according to Roman Jakobson.
Keywords: emotion, feeling, Jamaican, body parts, multimodality, ideophones, metalinguistic labels
Published online: 10 March 2017
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