Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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We investigate the figurative size ( or ) that more naturally fits the conceptual representation of the moral emotion concepts and . We hypothesize the pairings and to be more natural than their counterparts, because of the emotions’ expressive profile: pride’s expanded body posture makes us look big, while shame’s shrunk body posture makes us look small. These effects are part of the folk model of and observed in language and the mapping can be best described as metonymic. An Implicit Association Test is used to investigate the existence of these conceptual pairings in Spanish. Faster reaction times and fewer errors were observed for metonymy-congruent compared to incongruent pairs. These results provide the first empirical evidence of a cognitive association coherent with our hypothesized metonymic link and constitute an empirical psycholinguistic contribution to the study of conceptual metonymy.


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Keyword(s): empirical; IAT; metonymy; pride; shame; size
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