The semantics of emotions was both culturally determined and universal

Complex emotional concepts like love or pity, you can combine according to what words are used to Express them. It found American scientists who have studied semantically related concepts expressed by the same word in different languages 2474. It turned out that some concepts are differently associated in different language families, but at the same time equally between them. The semantics of the words that Express certain emotions, therefore, can be called both culturally (depending on how the languages are to each other close) and a universal, write the scientists in the journal Science.

The basic emotions that people experience are quite versatile — regardless of culture people can experience joy, anger, disgust and sadness. Accordingly, in every language there are words that Express these emotions, and that emotions universal, basic, semantically these words in different languages can be called equivalent.

Difficulties arise when the emotion fades a little in the direction of its versatility: roughly speaking, if a word that expresses joy, begins to Express a specific joy. In this case, to find the equivalent in another language can be difficult. For example, a complete analogue of the word “love” in English is “love”, but if we turn to the ancient Greek language, there are different love four different words: ἀγάπη (Agape) — soft and sacrificial love, φιλία (Philia) — a friendly love that kind of attraction, στοργή (storge) family love and ἔρως (Eros) — romantic, passionate love.

Of course, what emotions Express the individual words in language depends on the culture in which the language is spoken. Culture, in turn, are rarely isolated but are close geographically noticeably affect each other. Accordingly, it is possible to assume that the emotive words in the languages that are used close to each other cultures, its significance will be similar — but until now this assumption was tested mainly by qualitative methods.

To test it quantitatively decided by scientists under the leadership of Joshua Conrad Jackson (Joshua Jackson Conrad) from the University of North Carolina at chapel hill. For this, they used indicators of alexitaly — whether some different concepts in the language be expressed in one word. For example, in French the “weather” and “time” are the same word “le temps”. Koleksiyonu, on the one hand, shows the similarity of several different concepts, and on the other — indicates the variety of vocabulary.

For the analysis, the researchers used an open database of alexitaly CLICS and analyzed 2439 different concepts expressed in different languages dictionaries 2474 groups. In particular, the researchers chose 24 emotional concepts that can Express different emotive words: the list includes, for example, hope, love, envy, shame, sadness and fear.

The similarity of concepts in accordance with the ratio of alexitaly calculated using the ratio of Rand, which allows to estimate the closeness of the data clusters first for each of the considered languages, and then within individual language groups. Thus, each of the 24 considered emotional concepts managed to place on graphs, where the nodes are the individual concepts and edges the magnitude of alexitaly between them.


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