Language is Powerful

Emotion Review 1 (1):16-18 (2009)
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As Wierzbicka suggests in her recent review, language is powerful in emotion. Wierzbicka's solution is to remove the linguistically relative aspects of emotion concepts, like icing from a cake, to reveal the universal meanings below. In the present commentary, I suggest that language is a more fundamental ingredient in emotion than Wierzbicka's solution assumes; language can be no more removed from emotion, than flour can be removed from an already baked cake. As an alternate solution, I present a constructionist view of emotion, which not only recognizes the role of language in emotion, but also predicts and models its impact as language constitutes emotion experience



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