Semantic and Cognitive Structure of Emotion States Love, Lust, Infatuation, Passion

  • Nataliya Lavrova Moscow State Pedagogical University
Keywords: emotions, conceptual metaphor, semantic structure, corpus research


Conceptualization of emotions, especially those which are neither universal nor elementary, is a contested area of cognitive linguistic research. The present paper investigated the semantic and conceptual structure of four emotion states of the thematic field ‘romantic relationship’: love, lust, infatuation, and passion. The specific questions asked in the paper are as follows. First, what are the similarities and dissimilarities between these emotion states? Second, in what way does the conceptualization presented in dictionaries depart from conceptualization that emerges through corpus investigation? Finally, which of the conceptual metaphors posited for emotion concepts by G. Lakoff and M. Johnson are most entrenched in the collective and individual consciousness of speakers of English? To answer these questions, the advantages of four methods were tapped into: introspection, definitional analysis, a native speaker survey and corpus study. Findings reveal that dictionary definitions of love, lust, infatuation, and passion offer an impoverished, if credible, insight into the conceptual structure of these emotions. Results are suggestive of some specific conceptual elements which should be taken account of in a classroom setting by language instructors and L2 learners and indicate which appropriate collocations are to be taken heed of by dictionary compilers.  


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Author Biography

Nataliya Lavrova, Moscow State Pedagogical University

Department of Foreign Languages, Phonetics and Lexicology

How to Cite
LavrovaN. (2015). Semantic and Cognitive Structure of Emotion States Love, Lust, Infatuation, Passion. Journal of Language and Education, 1(4), 26-36.