This paper argues that the cross-linguistic study of subjective experience as expressed, described and construed in language cannot be set on a sound footing without the aid of a systematic and non-Anglocentric approach to lexical semantic analysis. This conclusion follows from two facts, one theoretical and one empirical. The first is the crucial role of language in accessing and communicating about feelings. The second is the demonstrated existence of substantial, culture-related differences between the meanings of emotional expressions in the languages of the world. We contend that the NSM approach to semantic and cultural analysis (Wierzbicka 1996; Gladkova 2010; Levisen 2012; Goddard 2011; Goddard and Wierzbicka 2014a; Wong 2014; among other works) provides the necessary conceptual and analytical framework to come to grips with these facts. This is demonstrated in practice by the studies of “happiness-like” and “pain-like” expressions across eight languages, undertaken in the present volume. At the same time as probing the precise meanings of these expressions, the authors provide extensive cultural contextualization, showing in some detail how the meanings they are analyzing are truly “cultural meanings”. The project exemplified by the volume can also be read as a linguistically-anchored contribution to cultural psychology (Shweder 2004, 2003), the quest to understand and appreciate the mental life of others in a full spirit of psychological pluralism.
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Cited by 13 other publications
2020. The semantics of two loanwords in Navarrese Spanish. In Meaning, Life and Culture: In conversation with Anna Wierzbicka, ► pp. 193 ff.
2019. On Saying It Hurts: Performativity and Politics of Pain. In Meanings of Pain, ► pp. 283 ff.
Jovanović, Veljko, Maksim Rudnev, Gökmen Arslan, Carmen Buzea, Radosveta Dimitrova, Vanesa Góngora, Tharina Guse, Rainbow T. H. Ho, Naved Iqbal, Szilvia Jámbori, Fang-Hua Jhang, Goda Kaniušonytė, Jingguang Li, Young-Jin Lim, Ernesto Lodi, Rasmus Mannerström, Jenny Marcionetti, Felix Neto, Evgeny Osin, Joonha Park, Eduardo Fonseca-Pedrero, Jarosław Piotrowski, Carmel Proctor, Amalia Rahmandani, Katariina Salmela-Aro, Javier Ortuño-Sierra, Delia Stefenel, Kazumi Sugimura, Soon Aun Tan, Song Wang, Paul S. F. Yip, Magdalena Żemojtel-Piotrowska & Rita Žukauskienė
2022. The Satisfaction with Life Scale in Adolescent Samples: Measurement Invariance across 24 Countries and Regions, Age, and Gender. Applied Research in Quality of Life 17:4 ► pp. 2139 ff.
2021. Ways of Thinking and Talking about Cancer. In Minimal Languages in Action, ► pp. 255 ff.
2021. Chinese Cultural Keywords. In The Palgrave Handbook of Chinese Language Studies, ► pp. 1 ff.
2022. Chinese Cultural Keywords. In The Palgrave Handbook of Chinese Language Studies, ► pp. 491 ff.
2022. Chinese Cultural Keywords. In The Palgrave Handbook of Chinese Language Studies, ► pp. 1 ff.
Kornilov, Sergey A., Tatiana V. Kornilova & Elena L. Grigorenko
2016. The Cross-Cultural Invariance of Creative Cognition: A Case Study of Creative Writing in U.S. and Russian College Students. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development 2016:151 ► pp. 47 ff.
Romero-Trillo, Jesús & Nancy E. Avila-Ledesma
2016. The Ethnopragmatic Representation of Positive and Negative Emotions in Irish Immigrants’ Letters. In Pragmemes and Theories of Language Use [Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology, 9], ► pp. 393 ff.
2018. Intercultural Communication About Pain. In Intercultural Communication in Asia: Education, Language and Values [Multilingual Education, 24], ► pp. 181 ff.
Visakko, Tomi & Eero Voutilainen
2020. Language and happiness: Cultural epistemologies and ideological conflicts in Finnish online discourses on the causes of happiness. Language & Communication 71 ► pp. 39 ff.
2015. Cross-linguistic View on Pain Language between English and Korean. Discourse and Cognition 22:3 ► pp. 79 ff.
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