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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Professor Zoltán Kövecses: Metaphors as models for the emotions

21st January 2008, 17:15, Cosin's Hall, Durham University
Professor Zoltán Kövecses [Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest] in dialogue with Dr Boris Wiseman, Dept of French, Durham University as part of the interdisciplinary dialogue series Metaphors as Models.

Research into emotions is characterized on the one hand by a metaphorical, universalist and experiantialist approach on the one hand and a non-metaphorical, non-universalist, and social constructionist one on the other; there are also attempts to reconcile them both. Recent research affirms the universality of certain basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, love, disgust. A large body of other research has shown that emotion terms and expressions are more than registers of physiological experience; they also have conceptual structure. If it is the case that certain emotions are universal, due to innate psychological and physiological processes, but also have conceptual structures that are cultural in origin, then there is a problem in understanding the semantics of emotion language. The dialogue will focus on the tension between universals and cultural constructions in theories of emotion language and explore the chances of a synthesis.

Selected publications by Zoltán Kövecses
Kövecses, Zoltán (1986). Metaphors of Anger, Pride, and Love. A Lexical Approach to the Structure of Concepts. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Kövecses, Zoltán (1988). The Language of Love. The Semantics of Passion in Conversational English. Lewisburg, Pa: Bucknell University Press.
Kövecses, Zoltán (1990). Emotion Concepts. New York: Springer.
Kövecses, Zoltán (1995a). American friendship and the scope of metaphor. Cognitive Linguistics 6, 315-346.
Kövecses, Zoltán (1995b). Anger: Its language, conceptualization, and physiology in the light of cross-cultural evidence. In: John R. Taylor and Robert E. MacLaury, (eds.). Language and the Cognitive Construal of the World. Berlin: de Gruyter, 181-196.
Kövecses, Zoltán (1999). Metaphor: does it constitute or reflect cognitive models? In: Gibbs, Raymond W. and Gerard Steen (eds.). Metaphor in Cognitive Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 167-188.
Kövecses, Zoltán (2000a). Metaphor and Emotion: Language, Culture, and Body in Human Feeling. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kövecses, Zoltán (2000b). The scope of metaphor. In: Antonio Barcelona (ed.): Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads. A Cognitive Perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 79-92.
Kövecses, Zoltán (2002). Metaphor. A Practical Introduction. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.
Kövecses, Zoltán (2006). Language, Mind and Culture. A Practical Introduction. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.

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