Expressing and Describing Surprise

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  • Editors: Agnès Celle1, and Laure Lansari1
  • Format: PDF
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • e-Book ISBN 9789027265081

Among emotions, surprise has been extensively studied in psychology. In linguistics, surprise, like other emotions, has mainly been studied through the syntactic patterns involving surprise lexemes. However, little has been done so far to correlate the reaction of surprise investigated in psychological approaches and the effects of surprise on language. This cross-disciplinary volume aims to bridge the gap between emotion, cognition and language by bringing together nine contributions on surprise from different backgrounds – psychology, human-agent interaction, linguistics. Using different methods at different levels of analysis, all contributors concur in defining surprise as a cognitive operation and as a component of emotion rather than as a pure emotion. Surprise results from expectations not being met and is therefore related to epistemicity. Linguistically, there does not exist an unequivocal marker of surprise. Surprise may be either described by surprise lexemes, which are often associated with figurative language, or it may be expressed by grammatical and syntactic constructions. Originally published as a special issue of Review of Cognitive Linguistics 13:2 (2015)

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Pragmatics; Cognition and language; Cognitive linguistics; Communication Studies

  • Affiliations: 1: Université Paris Diderot

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