The expression of emotion in Italian and English fairy tales

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Previous studies by educationalists and psychologists have shown that fairy tales appear to encode emotive content in such a way that may facilitate aspects of children’s emotive development. This chapter deals with the representation of emotion in these tales and explores whether it varies across cultures and how this can be investigated. The first part sets out a methodology drawing on theories and models developed in semantics, discourse analysis and social psychology. The second part illustrates the application of the methodology to a corpus of English and Italian modern versions of traditional fairy tales. The final section suggests the findings from the analysis may relate to differences in the cultural context in which the tales are produced and read.


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