Culture-specific concepts of emotionality and rationality

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The cultural models of emotionality and rationality showing up in figurative language use vary extensively on a worldwide scale. Such variation is largely due to different cultural backgrounds, for instance, concerning underlying ethnomedical or philosophical beliefs. The present chapter reports on a research project involving various, partly unrelated languages and the different cultural models that underlie these cultures’ conceptualizations of emotions and of the mind. Three general categories of conceptualization (namely abdominocentrism, cardiocentrism, and cerebrocentrism) are distinguished and discussed. As an example from the category of cerebrocentrism, metaphorical and metonymic expressions referring to emotionality and rationality concepts in present-day English are analyzed in depth.


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