The Semantics Of Emotion Across Language: English-Spanish Language Transfer In Emotion Words

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jenna Rose Elliott (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Catherine Fountain

Abstract: This paper aims to examine the semantic differences in emotion words between English and Spanish. Having a more concrete understanding of what emotion words mean in different languages can help language learners develop a more clear cultural understanding of the target language, improve the educational context in which emotion words are taught, and further psychologists' understanding of language differences that may arise between them and their clients. After surveying fifty-eight L2 Spanish speakers and thirty L1 Spanish speakers about different hypothetical scenarios, a few trends arose surrounding word usage and first and third person subjects. It was found that the L2 Spanish speakers had different trends than the L1 Spanish speakers in which words they wrote in and that both groups preferred first person subject responses over more indirect third person subject responses. Since the majority of L2 Spanish speakers had more than five years of experience in the language and the L1 Spanish population had fewer participants, further research would need to be done on a less experienced L2 population and with a larger L1 population in order to better understand the differences between Spanish and English emotion words.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Elliott, J. (2021). The Semantics Of Emotion Across Language: English-Spanish Language Transfer In Emotion Words. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2021
Semantics, Emotion words, English, Spanish, Bilingual, Language Transfer

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