Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
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Over the last two decades, accumulating work in cognitive science and cognitive linguistics has provided evidence that language shapes thought. Conceptual metaphor theory proposes that the conceptual structure of emotions emerges through metaphorization from concrete concepts such as spatial orientation and physical containment. Primary metaphors for emotions have been described in a wide range of languages. Here we show, in Study 1, the results of a corpus analysis revealing that certain metaphors such as EMOTIONS ARE FLUIDS and EMOTIONS ARE BOUNDED SPACEs are quite natural in Spanish. Moreover, the corpus data reveal that the bounded space source domain is more frequently mapped onto negative emotions. In Study 2, we consider the question of whether the instantiation of metaphorical framing influences the way we think about emotions. A questionnaire experiment was conducted to explore this question, focusing on the Spanish case of locura (‘madness’). Our results show that when madness was framed as a fluid filling a container (the body), people tended to rate symptoms as less enduring and as more likely to be caused by social and environmental factors, compared with when it was framed as a place in space. Results are discussed in the light of conceptual metaphor theory.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cognitive linguistics; conceptual metaphor; corpus analysis; emotion concepts; Spanish.
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