3.1  Introduction

In the last chapter the significance of emotion for various theories about human nature was discussed, and it is clear that the conceptualization of emotion raises particularly interesting problems.  Emotion would seem to be part of the experience of all human societies and cultures, unlike laser beams, theories about the galaxies, or even more natural things like snow, which many people living in tropical areas are only dimly aware exists.   The physical phenomena associated with emotion would even seem to form part of our genetic make-up.  One can therefore argue in favour of a certain universality for it at the level of human experience.    However, since social, cultural, and individual psychological factors obviously influence the formation of concepts as well as their usage, it is also an area rich in signs of relativity between languages and language users.  

English and Portuguese belong to a common Western or European culture, and, diachronically speaking, to the same Indo-European language family.   Portuguese is essentially a Romance language, but English has also been heavily influenced by Latin and French over the centuries, despite its strong ties with the Germanic languages. It is likely, therefore, that although a study of culture through language may not indicate any major differences of beliefs about the world, certain aspects of the lexicon and syntax will vary.

In this chapter, I shall begin by developing the theme of universals v. relativity, and go on to examine general theories of meaning and conceptualization.  My objective is to show how these theories affect the way psychologists and others have attempted to systematize the conceptualization of emotion, either by drawing up lexicons of emotion or by discussing the syntax peculiar to this area of language. 

3.2   Conceptualization - universals and relativism

If one tries to use the dictionary to clarify the meaning of concept and its derivatives and synonyms, one can get tied up in a vicious circle of definition from which it is difficult to extricate oneself.  This is because, since concepts are usually regarded as mental phenomena,  one is up against the Mind/Brain problem again. For example, the S.O.E.D. defines concept (p.388)  as a philosophical term meaning "The product of the faculty of conception; an idea of a class of objects, a general notion".  It further defines conception in this sense, (p.389) as "The action or faculty of conceiving in the mind" and " "That which is conceived in the mind".

Until the advent of 19th century materialism, however, it was generally accepted that there was a difference between an apprehended concept or idea and its lexicalisation in any particular language.  The principal tension was, and for many still is, between those who believe in some kind of universal set of concepts which refer to objective reality out there in the world, and those who believe that anything anyone means is relative to the particular situation, and only really directly accessible to the individual speaker. In between the extremes of absolute and relative meaning come all the philosophical, anthropological, social and psychological theories about how concepts and words come into existence, change and sometimes disappear with time.  To cover them all here is beyond the scope of this book, but I feel it is necessary to outline a few of the theories which directly relate to conceptualization in general as well as to the problems underlying the comparison of two languages, in this case English and Portuguese.     

3.2.1 The Platonist and Aristotelian traditions

Plato believed that knowledge was an essential part of the soul, which you possess before you are born, and that learning is the way we recover this natural knowledge.  The Dialogues  such as that with Euthypro on the subject of Piety (Plato, 1959: 23-6),  are meant to show that, although, when we use a concept in relation to particular things, its value is more relative, beyond this there is a general ideal concept which exists independently of the here and now. Certain emotions, such as Love (ibid: 34), are favourite themes for this sort of discussion.

Variations of this theory have been propounded down the ages by idealist philosophers and, although based on different premises, Chomsky's proposals for an innate grammar, which he and his followers believe can be formalised abstractly, is the modern descendent of this line of thought. The attraction of mathematical and scientific ideas is that they have always been felt to belong to the Platonic world of absolute truth, to the extent that they are not even primarily dependent on language for their interpretation. For instance, Penrose (1989: 554) is of the opinion that mathematical concepts, whether one is thinking about known ones or discovering new ones, can be comprehended without resorting to language, and considers that others like chess players, musical composers and visual artists have similar experiences. He describes how "When one "sees" a mathematical truth, one's consciousness breaks through into this world of ideas [accessible via the intellect], and makes contact with it".

The temptation of this way of looking at knowledge is to attempt to attribute absolute values to less scientific concepts, and to transfer these values to their lexical realisation in a particular language.  Yet our attitude to knowledge is sufficiently conditioned by this notion of a Platonic world to make the writing and consultation of dictionaries an acceptable way of understanding the meaning of words or concepts .

Down the centuries people have not just argued about the meaning of concepts and whether or not they are innate or not: the more interested have actually conducted experiments to test their theories.  Crystal (1971: 46-7) cites several examples of kings who tried to discover what language would be spontaneously spoken by children brought up without linguistic contact with others.[1] Sacks (1989) describes how, in the 18th century, Abbé de L'Epée became fascinated by the sign language used by the deaf in Paris and set out to understand it, partly so he could save their souls, but partly because the philosophical idea of language universals was again in fashion and he believed that this symbolic language, untainted by normal linguistic influence, would be the key to the universal language[2]

'Wild' children have always been a subject of interest for those interested in the mysteries of language,  although this interest has varied according to the theories currently being proposed[3]. The relatively recent case of Genie[4] was of considerable interest to those interested in Piaget's and Chomsky's theories.  Sacks (1989) also quotes the story of Kaspar Hauser[5] and several cases of congenitally deaf people, all of whose abnormally late processes of language acquisition are of interest to psychologists.  One of the more interesting points that emerges from these studies is that although the naming of concrete objects is reasonably easy for these people to acquire, normal sentence structure and abstract concepts are often beyond them.  This would suggest that some sort of programme for normal language development is innate and must follow a certain sequence, and that the capacity to abstract must somehow be related to this, but that the process of naming objects of our experience is  empirical.  Since there seems to be a certain normal evolution of emotional development in children[6],  which involves perception and linguistic conceptualization, it would be interesting to study research into the development of affective capacities in these people.

The French thinkers of the 17th  and 18th centuries who influenced the experiments of Abbé de L'Epée and the theories behind the Port-Royal grammar were in the Platonic tradition, as were other thinkers down the ages.  The various theories put forward are by no means simple to analyse and, since Chomsky himself has been criticised for his faulty understanding of them, by such as Carvalho (1984), I shall not attempt to go beyond the expression 'Platonic tradition' to stand for the idea that there is some extra-linguistic reality which language tries to express.  

The Aristotelian tradition is equally complex, but this general view is that language acquisition is essentially empirical.  Aristotle questioned the existence of absolute concepts and argued that, whether concrete or abstract, concepts can only be deduced from our experience of them, i.e.  there is no absolute quality of 'whiteness', only white houses, flowers or whatever. Knowledge, therefore,  must be based on what is observed. This is obviously a gross over-simplification of this type of philosophy, but necessary for the general purpose of comparison with the idea of absolutes.

Wittgenstein opens his Philosophical Investigations  with a quotation from St. Augustine's Confessions in which the latter describes the way how, as children, we learn to name things from the people around us.  Xavier (1985: 6-16) shows how St. Augustine seemed to maintain the Platonic idea, implicit in this situation, that one is aware of the nature of the thing named (res ) before one knows its name (nomen or uerbum ).  However, his idea that we learn language empirically, or from our experience of watching others use it, is more in the Aristotelian tradition.

 This point of view was supported by people like Descartes, with his view that our understanding of reality must be based on empirical observation, Locke, with his view of the human being as a tabula rasa,  and others who believed that the names of things were acquired empirically. This empiricism in the late 18th and 19th centuries also turned the focus of language study away from anything metaphysical, and towards an interest in language as an expression of cultures and societies through history. 

3.2.2  Language Relativism since the 18th century

Humboldt (1836), who is usually considered a key figure in the history of language relativism, in fact believed in an essential universal language underlying all known, or at least all Indo-European, languages.  His theory was that individual languages usually  did not measure up to  this ideal norm, although Sanskrit probably came as near as it was possible.  He was interested in the formation rather than the origins of language and was convinced that there was a strong connection between language and national character and culture.  He claimed that all languages varied in quality because of cultural, social and racial differences and, since to distinguish between thinking and speech was an artificial convention, thought was conditioned by the language one spoke. Therefore, he claimed, certain languages were better equipped for thought than others. 

This theory had uncomfortably racist overtones, which later language relativists, like Sapir (1921), have been at pains to avoid by pointing out that difference in culture or mentality is merely that -  difference - and does not imply a qualitative judgement on the language or the people who speak it.  He insists, " We know of no people that is not possessed of a fully developed language.... The lowliest South African bushman speaks in the forms of a rich symbolic system that is in essence perfectly comparable to the speech of the cultivated Frenchman".  Whorf (1956: 84, 81) goes even further to avoid accusations of racism (in favour of European supremacy) by saying that "the eminence of our European tongues and thinking habits proceeds from nothing more "[than prestige based on human economics and history] and that many preliterate ("primitive") communities, far from being subrational, may show the human mind functioning on a higher and more complex plane of rationality than among civilized men" for "We do not know that civilization is synonymous with rationality". 

 The emphasis on linguistic relativism as a way of helping anthropologists to interpret the cultures they study has been both the result and cause of different approaches to the idea that language and thought are inextricably entwined.  Boas (1917 and 1920), particularly in relation to the study of American Indian languages, drew attention to the importance of studying these languages if the cultures of these people were to be understood - although he warns against influence from colonizing languages, as well as the effect of the languages on each other for historical and social reasons.  The influence of this way of thinking on anthropology has led to some interesting work on religious, political and kinship structures and the way they function.  Recently work has been done by Lutz (1988) on how the Ifaluk islanders construct emotion.

 Sociolinguists try to show us how language reflects society.  Bernstein (1971-4), Halliday (1979) and others have done much to explain how the language we grow up with either helps or hinders our educational development and our integration in the society we live in.  Others, like Lado (1974), Trudgill (1974) and  Miller (1983), have shown how far  attitudes towards things like race, class and sexual discrimination are reflected in the language we use, often quite unconsciously.  This has, more recently, led to the feeling that if language so seriously mirrors the society we live in, perhaps one way the society can be improved is by making its language 'politically correct'.

The most extreme form of language relativism is that which holds that only the individual can ever hope to fully understand what he/she actually means.  Taken to its logical conclusion, this approach will allow one to communicate only with one's Self.  For normal purposes though, we assume that language is for interpersonal communication, and for this to occur there must always be some degree of mutually accepted meaning in whatever form of language is used.

The academic discipline of comparing or contrasting languages has taken different forms, according to current linguistic fashion. 'Comparative philology ' used to be the title given to the study of the history of languages and it focused on the lexical and syntactic similarities and differences that developed diachronically between languages.  Contrastive linguistics  as a discipline which contrasted languages, usually synchronically, became popular in the late 60s and 70s, as can be seen in Alatis (Ed. 1968), Fisiak (Ed. 1980) and James (1980), and it tended to be associated with more practical issues like second language teaching, bilingualism and translation.  The more theoretical type of work that has developed from this, for example in Comrie (1976) and (1985), and Shopen (Ed. 1985),  could perhaps be described as comparative linguistics  and its aim could be seen as studying variations between languages within a more general quest for  possible language universals.

 Language relativism, whether between officially recognised different languages, or between variations of usage among the social groups who use one of these languages, or even between individuals, is something which usually leads to more problems than it solves. It tends, as we have seen, to be associated with negatively connotated things like racism and nationalism, and social differences based on education, class, and sex.  Yet, rather like these nasty phenomena, it refuses to go away.  Theoretical linguists like to deal with the language of an idealised average native speaker and leave the difference in language habits between social groups to sociolinguists. The sociolinguists, they argue, are more interested in analysing society than language anyway, whereas theoretical linguists are interested in higher things, like language universals and the human brain's or the computer's capacity for language.  However, once one goes beyond the more abstract syntactic and semantic concepts, it is impossible to avoid getting involved with the cultures and social groups which use real language.  This problem of coordinating  theory and practice is one which affects other disciplines, and in particular philosophy, which has often been associated with linguistics in this century.

3.3  The relationship between philosophy and linguistics in the 20th century

The 20th century saw philosophy and linguistics become so involved with each other that at times it is difficult to distinguish between them[7].  Philosophers have always been aware of the importance of linguistic phenomena, but in this century, as Cooper (1973: 5) observes, "this dim awareness ... has been replaced by very bright awareness - too bright, according to continental critics of Anglo-Saxon philosophy".

Both linguistic philosophy and the philosophy of language, as described by Katz (1985), were the underlying interests of both the Logical Positivists and the Ordinary Language Philosophers. The scientific revolution led to proposals for a scientific analysis of language, and it was Frege, Russell, G.E. Moore, the early Wittgenstein and others in the Vienna Circle of Logical Positivists who set about this task, using the tools of logic and categorisation in order to tame the unruly phenomenon.   Much of this research was considered the province of philosophy rather than linguistics, but the mathematical and logical aspect of it could not fail to attract the enthusiasm of those who, encouraged by the prospect of the Turing machine in the 30s, began to think in terms of the computability of language.  There is no doubt that the intellectual discipline required by this type of analysis contributed to greater rigour generally in the study of language. 

Cooper (1973: 45) shows how the attitude of the Logical Positivists to meaning centred on what was known as the "verification principle", which proposed that "the meaning of a proposition is the method of its verification". Those sentences which could be empirically verified as true or false were described as 'cognitive', and those that could not, were called 'emotive' because, the argument went, according to Cooper (1973: 54-5),  "unless we ascribe emotive meaning to certain utterances, including ethical, they would, by the principle of verification, be meaningless".  Emotive meaning is seen as "a tendency of a word, arising through the history of its usage, to produce (result from) affective responses in people".   Thus, sentences like Stealing is bad  (an ethical utterance), or My love is like a red, red rose  (a poetical utterance), are unverifiable and therefore emotive.  Another way of defining cognitive and emotive meaning can be shown in the following examples:  Harry is an Englishman (cognitive meaning, verifiable from his birth certificate etc.) and Harry is a limey (emotive version of the same sentence - limey = derogatory form for Englishman ).  The philosophical problems about meaning, ethics, emotion and other factors arising from these distinctions are legion.

This use of cognitive  is restrictive when compared with the way the same term is used by AI and psychology today, for it refers to only the most conscious reasoning carried out by the brain, whereas nowadays more is understood about, or attributed to, less directly conscious brain processes, and the scope of cognitive has become stretched to suit the situation.   Emotivism is not dependent on the lexicon of emotion under discussion in this thesis, but the idea that one's choice of words produces, and results from, affective factors must always be taken into account in any connection between language and emotion. 

However, the approach of the Logical Positivists proved too rigid to provide useful explanations for ordinary language.  Apart from verifying whether statements were true or false, cognitive or emotive,  there remained the fact that most of everyday language still did not fit into these categories. 

Two thinkers who did a lot to revolutionise attitudes in linguistics and philosophy in the 20th century were Saussure and Wittgenstein.  Saussure's work led to a new interpretation, if not the creation, of the discipline of linguistics.  On the other hand, Wittgenstein provided the theoretical basis for both the Logical Positivists and  the 'ordinary language' philosophers.  Harris (1990) shows how, despite the fact that they cannot be said to have had any direct influence on each other, Saussure and the later Wittgenstein, nevertheless, have a certain amount in common.  They both rejected  what Harris terms  "nomenclaturism", which views language as "a set of relations between independently given sounds or marks on the one hand and independently given features of the external world on the other", a view of language which isolates "words from the linguistic systems to which they belong and, simultaneously,  [isolates] the language-user from the linguistic community" (ibid: 17).  Both Saussure and Wittgenstein chose the metaphor of a game of chess to explain the way in which words or signs can be compared to the pieces of chess, the grammar to the rules, and any sentence to the position any of the pieces takes up as a result of these rules - a position whose significance depends not so much on the rules as on the positions of the other pieces and all the moves prior and posterior to that position.  

Saussure was interested in showing that language must be considered as a structure of interdependent units whose individual value depends on this structure for interpretation.  He  also saw language as generative of thought, and Harris (1990: 30) quotes him as saying, "No ideas are established in advance, and nothing is distinct, before the introduction of linguistic structure".  Wittgenstein, who, in quoting St. Augustine at the beginning of Philosophical Investigations, is really criticising his own earlier views, put forward in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, is interested not only in the autonomy and arbitrariness of language.  Although he is less convinced that thought is impossible without language, he maintains that since we need language to express thought,  it is impossible to get outside language in order to analyse language, or, consequently, thought.  These ideas have had very important repercussions on 20th century thinkers in general.

When the idea that language could be systematized logically fell into disrepute, some philosophers, sometimes known as the 'ordinary-language' philosophers, led by Austin (1963),  developed the theory of 'speech-acts'.  Austin first made the distinction between 'sayings', which he called 'constatives' (e.g. statements, or descriptions), and 'doings' or  'performatives' (e.g. promises or warnings).    Later (1970 and 1971) he went on to define between 'illocutionary acts', which covered statements, descriptions, promises and warnings, etc., as somehow establishing the speaker's attitude, and 'perlocutionary acts', like persuading, convincing, frightening, boring, amusing, or annoying,  which aim at affecting the hearer, usually, as the terms suggest, by producing some form of emotion. Others took up and developed the complex problems related to the speaker's intention and language convention in speech acts (Strawson 1964), utterer's meaning, sentence meaning and word meaning (Grice 1968) and 'intentionality' (Searle 1983).   As we have already seen, Searle is also heavily involved in the Mind/Brain debate and he is committed to a unified theory of language and mind. 

According to Gardner (1987: 70-71), Quine, originally one of the members of the Vienna Circle, has since acknowledged that epistemology cannot take the road proposed by the Logical Positivists, but proposes that something can be salvaged from the wreck. Gardner quotes Quine as saying that "Epistemology, or something like it, simply falls into place as a chapter of psychology and hence of natural science".  Accordingly, as Gardner (1987: 71) goes on to say, "we no longer dream of deducing science from sense data: the scientist (whether philosopher or psychologist) now conducts research in which experimental subjects become the preferred route to discovering how any individual makes sense of his experiences".   This fits in with the hopes of cognitive psychology.

3.3.1  Linguistics as a reflection of Anglo-Saxon philosophical attitudes to conceptualization in the 20th century

If philosophers, or at least, Anglo-American philosophers in the 20th century, have been heavily involved in linguistics, and their interest has been to see how the study of language can affect philosophical issues, linguists working at the pitface of phonology, morphology, lexicology, syntax, and text are more interested in the mechanisms of language.  However, their work is inevitably affected by current theory in other disciplines, and Katz (1985) believes that the philosophy of linguistics should be recognised as "an independent branch of philosophy".   Other disciplines, like mathematics,  physics, history or law, feel the need to somehow fit their findings into a wider view through philosophy.  Linguistics, however, is so involved with philosophy that perhaps a philosophy of linguistics might help both parties to understand their relationship.  

Katz (1985) proposes that: "There have been two linguistic turns in twentieth century philosophy.  In the first and most celebrated, language became the central concern of philosophers who broke with nineteenth century idealist philosophy. In the second, linguistics  became the central concern of philosophers who wished to put their thinking on a scientific basis."   His intention is "to stimulate a third linguistic turn, one in which the foundations of linguistics  becomes the central concern of philosophers who have tried to think about language from the perspective of the science of language".

Katz believes that the three main philosophical attitudes to linguistics in this century can be described as 'nominalist', 'conceptualist' and 'realist'.  The first attitude, nominalism, is that underlying Structuralism, particularly as interpreted by the Bloomfield school of American linguistics.  Katz (1985: 19) explains how, influenced by Behaviourism, and turning against the mentalism of earlier centuries,  Bloomfield dismissed any use of "the terminology of 'consciousness', 'mind', 'perception', 'ideas'" as "the terminology of mentalism and animism", and regarded language as the physical sounds produced in speech. "It remains for the linguists to show that the speaker has no 'ideas´ and that the noise is sufficient".   Thus 'nominalism', too, is the physical process by which the individual learns how to name things in a stimulus-response fashion, and is, consequently, so subjective as to be best left alone by any scientifically minded linguist.  This attitude could be considered an extreme example within the Aristotelian tradition discussed above.

The usual swing of the intellectual pendulum brought a return to a more Platonist view.  Conceptualism developed with Chomsky's proposal that certain language structures, perhaps even certain concepts, were innate.  The brain is no longer seen as a simple machine responding automatically to sensory stimulation, and conceptualization is seen as the result of complex psychological processes with a genetic basis.  Linguists and psychologists set out together on the conquest of the understanding of how this complex brain functions, how far animals can be said to communicate, how language develops in humans, how syntax and semantics work, whether there are language universals and, as Fodor (1984: 160) says, "all that stuff that got people interested in studying language in the first place". 

 Katz, with Soames, and Langendoen and Postal, (1985) claim that this attitude to language is restrictive and that,  unless language is studied independently of either human physical or psychological constraints,  and  as it relates to reality,  in the true Platonist sense, we are severely limiting the scope of our investigation.    Katz proposes that a Platonist grammar would be free of the limitations imposed on conceptualist language study, which turns to the internal cognitive representation  perceived by the 'ideal native speaker' as a norm by which to judge all its theories.   Soames (1984) reinforces this by arguing that the very theories by which language is analysed by specialists are learnt, and difficult to conceive of as innate. Langendoen and Postal (1984) claim that natural languages are so vast, are such "megacollections", that they render any attempt to identify them with the physical and psychological universe almost impossible.   Fodor (1984: 160) may argue that nobody is remotely interested in this sort of Platonism because "the action is all at the other end of town", but, says Katz (1984: 180), on the one hand, he seems to fail to understand exactly what is meant by Platonism, and on the other, his attitude is that of "a philosopher who has hung around psychologists so long he's gone native".  

More recently, Katz (1990), seems to have gone even further towards a view of language as an abstract system which can be examined independently of time, place and culture.  Others, like Fodor and Lepore (1992: x) argue for "holism about meaning" which, they explain,  is "roughly ... the doctrine that only whole languages or whole theories or whole belief systems really  have meanings, so that the meanings of smaller units - words, sentences, hypotheses, predictions, discourses, dialogues, texts, thoughts and the like - are merely derivative". 

The enthusiasm for more extreme forms of mentalism, suggesting that all meaning is a function of the brain has died down somewhat.   Putnam (1988: 114), for example, has modified his view that the computer is an apt model for the mind, and now prefers to approach the problem from the perspective of "internal realism", arguing that "what is (by common sense standards) the same situation can be described in many different ways, depending on how we use the words.    The situation does not itself legislate how words like object, entity, and exist must be used".  Therefore, he argues that although each individual brain is both limited by the way it develops and the culture it belongs to, and will respond to the situation according to these limitations, it is also open-ended and able to develop.  This leads him to the conclusion that, just as human mathematical capacity can always go beyond whatever it can formalize, so "reason can go beyond whatever reason can formalize"  (ibid: 118, his italics). 

3.3.2  The contribution of 20th century Continental philosophy and literary theory to language relativism

Continental philosophy in this century has been heavily influenced by thinkers like Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, and their theories of phenomenology and existentialism.  This view of philosophy has been particularly influential on literary theory and literature, and certain types of psychoanalysis. The individual is taken as a point of departure, although the  way these philosophers, and their followers and opponents, interpret individual tends to vary.

According to Magee (1987: 257), Husserl believed that the only way to understand the world is to study the view each individual has of the world, for one can only be sure of what one knows through one's conscious awareness.  He saw his theory as the culmination of the Cartesian idealism which believed it could arrive at a knowledge of the world from the basic Cogito.  According to him the mind is directed towards the outside world and the resulting awareness is what he called  "intentional content".  He thus proposed and formulated a method to analyse the world by describing "the way self-contained, conscious subjects are directed towards objects".  

Magee (1987) goes on to describe how, although in agreement with him on many things, Heidegger found that Husserl's attribution of everything to a subject/ object relation was not really an adequate description of our relation to things.  Heidegger's objection was that many of the things we do every day are done without reference to our consciousness.  We can have a bath or drive a car while consciously thinking about something quite different, and we only  stop to notice what we are doing if something unusual occurs - the water stops running or an accident happens.  He was distinguishing, as Ryle did, between knowing-that and knowing-how.  He drew attention to the fact that, since so much of our lives is conducted without any conscious thought on our part, the subject-object relation cannot be taken for granted, for the individual is not separate from the world in this sense, but part of it. Heidegger calls the shared meaning on which our daily behaviour is based our "understanding of being", and his work Being and Time attempts to show how conscious self-awareness is involved with whatever it is aware of, and the time dimension in which this occurs. His intense interest in the way language was involved in forming and controlling our self-awareness was in line with other philosophers already mentioned but, because of his method of analysis, many dismissed his work as merely "introspective psychology".  However, now that cognitive psychologists working on the theme of mental structures are trying to experiment with certain methods of introspective analysis, perhaps his work will be more appreciated. 

Apparently, Heidegger's influence on Sartre's and  Merleau-Ponty's views of the individual was considerable.  Sartre believed that the individual was, in reality, free to act, but that most of us simply did not want to face up to this fact, and allowed ourselves to be governed to a considerable degree by convention, and what other people thought.  Merleau-Ponty showed that the body with which we perceive the world contributes to and limits this freedom, and in this sense, helps to explain Heidegger's view of our being part of the world and not separate from it.

These views, which can only be stated at their crudest here, influenced the French school of literary theory, and others who, although more concerned with  psychoanalysis and literature, pursued the idea of the importance of language. Taking the notion of structure of language as an expression of a culture a step further, they worked on theories that showed how the individual being was not an autonomous individual or soul, as is traditional in Judaeo-Christian thought, but a product of all the political, ideological and cultural influences that surround him/her.   Language, and the other signs with which we communicate, provide the clues for analysing this individual, and, only by analysing these clues, can one reach any form of understanding of him/her. From this point, it is a short step to the realisation that each and every one of us, as reader, interprets a text, or, as a psychoanalyst, analyses another person,  according to our own specific, but culturally acquired, set of ideas and prejudices.

The exaggerated relativism of meaning that is proposed by some literary theorists eventually leads others to point to the argument that there has to be some common ground of meaning, some external reality on which at least author and reader have to agree, before the minimum of communication can be achieved.   To propose to deconstruct all the various myths, or concepts, through which our civilisation interprets the world in order to reconstruct a more perfect one is ambitious, to say the least,  and in order to proceed with deconstruction, its practitioners must resort to the very language and concepts they are attacking.   However, all these theorists continue to use language as their main method of communication, so there must be some modicum of agreement about meaning and concepts for them to proceed to disagree about.  Many of the concepts they use in everyday speech without a quibble, and even others that are used in academic argument, are all laden with meaning which some people like to attribute to folk wisdom.

3.4  Folk wisdom and conceptualization

While certain materialists who are interested in the analysis of language lament the mentalistic terminology and abstract concepts with which language in general is riddled, it is not so easy to do without it.  A favourite metaphor of Quine's (1960 and 1964: 454), in relation to the jettisoning of abstract concepts, refers to the need to be careful about throwing away the planks of the the boat one is sailing in before one has constructed a new one. When discussing emotion one is constantly coming across these abstract concepts and is left wondering which planks to cling to as the boat sinks beneath one. 

The language used to discuss emotion employs several abstract concepts which man has accumulated over the centuries,  the meanings of which are highly debatable. It is arguable, however, that these concepts must have some basis in our perception of reality in order to function satisfactorily enough for human beings to communicate.  On the other hand, our perception of this reality is, to a large extent, controlled by the language with which we conceptualise and express it.  If one examines it, one can show that much of our terminology about our interior thoughts and feelings still has a strong bias towards the type of beliefs about the world which accepts a non-materialist view of mind.

In order to avoid entering into arguments about the evolution of individual words and the concepts whose shifting meaning they try to represent, I shall try an approach the subject from the point of view of what is often described as folk wisdom.   By this I mean the knowledge which is generally accepted in everyday situations as common to most people living in a specific culture and speaking the same language.   A lot of this knowledge is implicit in everyday language.  However,  although we may update the lexical items to keep pace with contemporary attitudes, the syntax changes more slowly and maintains older concepts within its semantics longer and more subtly.  As we shall see in later chapters, the syntactic behaviour of certain words has often been used as a justification for beliefs about those words, and about the reality to which they are presumed to refer.  Not everyone takes the trouble to distinguish between the word, or syntax, and the reality it is supposedly referring to - let alone the current theory being proposed to interpret that reality - and many do not realize the extent to which they are trapped within their own conceptual apparatus.  Before going on to discuss the specific subject of emotion,  I should like to draw attention to some of the folk beliefs encoded in the everyday language used to describe Emotion and to the way in which English and Portuguese conceptualize notions of Self and Other.

3.4.1  Folk wisdom on Emotion

It should by now be clear that describing emotion as physical, psychological, psychical or mental, or as "distinct from cognitions and volitions",  is by no means straightforward.   If one stops to consider that emotion is also popularly considered to be irrational and involuntary, one begins to wonder how one dare theorise about emotion at all.  Language, however, still allows us to use these concepts in ways that are understood as having a similar meaning for most people and I shall briefly draw attention here to how the more popular concepts of rationality and free will are used to interpret emotion.  I shall also show how there is an interesting connection between passive  and passion, which may well be relevant when discussing the syntax of emotion.  Finally I shall draw attention to the way ideas of Self and Other are encoded in English and Portuguese.

Emotion as irrational and involuntary

Emotion is generally considered to be irrational and involuntary.  It all started with the Greeks who considered Reason, or the ability to consciously formulate knowledge about the world with a view to taking appropriate action, the ultimate proof that man could be a superior being, providing he could free himself from animal appetites and emotions.  Since one could only tell the difference between right and wrong if one were rational, Judaeo-Christian thought continued this tradition.  According to De Sousa (1990), Descartes claimed that only humans had souls, because they alone could reason, do mathematics and talk, and that animals were merely machines.  To him all that animals and men had in common, the ability to live and move around in their environment, and to perceive the world around them for this purpose, was merely mechanical.  Emotions, which were expressed by animals as well as man, were signs of irrationality, although he was not too sure where to draw the line between soul and body as far as Emotion, or Passion was concerned.   

Until the nineteenth century, the main argument about rationality as the systemisation of knowledge was whether or not this knowledge was a priori or constructed from experience.  Then, bottom-up materialist determinism had the effect of emphasising man as being subject to his animal instincts, or drives, a slave to  the unconscious, and led the Logical Positivists to attempt to salvage some measure of reason through logic and mathematics.  It is this view of reason that has given AI such high hopes, but which those such as Searle and Penrose feel is just not enough.  Now, they argue, if this sort of reason can be achieved by machines, then perhaps man's superiority is in his consciousness, feelings and emotions. On the other hand, with the cognitivists often dedicated to showing what a wonderful machine the brain/mind is, with the unconscious and consciousness so complexly intertwined, yet so tantalizingly analysable if only we can work out the way the machine works, and with philosophers like De Sousa discussing the "rationality of emotion", one wonders what future Emotion has as being irrational.  

De Sousa (1990) is interested in the philosophical implications of Emotion in cognitive psychology.  He claims that man's interest in being superior to the animals is based on a certain "species-narcissism", and to relegate animals to the level of the unsophisticated automata of Descartes' time safely  placed us on a superior plane.  However, "now that we have experience of more elaborate automata, we tend to draw the line on almost the opposite principle.  Rather than face assimilation to mere machines, most of us prefer to be ranked with the animals"  (ibid : 3). 

Another plank adjacent to that of Reason in our conceptual boat is that of Free Will, for folk wisdom assumes that if Emotion is irrational, it must be involuntary, as one can only talk about doing something voluntarily if one is rationally aware of one's actions.  The control of the stronger emotions is generally considered difficult if not impossible, and this goes back to  Aristotle who said (1953: 63), "feeling angry or frightened is something we can't help, but our virtues are in a manner expression of our will".  Although exhorted by most moral codes to control his appetites and emotions, man has often used them as excuses for his more "animal-like" behaviour.  The law allows the crime passionel  in several countries, and lawyers often plead 'brief insanity' for clients who can be shown to have been under 'emotional duress' at the time of the crime.  This shows that the Law, at least, still assumes some measure of rationality and free will, whenever the emotions are not involved, however much sociologists and others would prefer to transfer the responsibility of individuals to the society which produced them.

The research which shows emotion as having a genetic basis, which  then develops in relation to even  our earliest experiences in such a way that much of our emotional behaviour is under the influence of our unconscious, would seem to confirm the popular view that true emotions are independent of any type of free will.  However, if one is going to argue for a measure of rationalism, or at least cognitive processes, for emotion, one cannot simply dismiss the role of will in emotion as an open and shut case.  Reductionist determinism, which insisted that one's choice of smoked salmon or prawn cocktail as a starter could ultimately be traced  to the Big Bang, no longer holds in a world where even the laws of physics include notions  like probability and randomness,  rather than absolutes.  Sartre, whose view of individual freedom has inspired so many in this century, sees emotion as a crucial element in this freedom.

The Passive and the Passions

Passive  is defined by the S.O.E.D. (1973 : 1524, definition 2) as "Suffering action from without; that is, the object as dist.[inct] from the subject of action; acted upon by external force; produced by external agency".   In the Cobuild Dictionary (1987 : 1049-50), it is used to describe people who do "not respond actively to things that are said or done to them.  For example they do not show their feelings, or they do not resist things they do not like".  Passiveness  would seem to be restricted to a human subject or to human behaviour.   Both dictionaries describe its use as a grammatical category which reflects the meaning of "suffering action from without" . It is interesting that this older definition of the S.O.E.D. is also preferred as a general definition for passive, whereas Cobuild, which usually reflects modern usage, prefers the emphasis on behaviour

 In earlier times, the Passions were what we now call Emotions, and we still use the term for the more violent emotions. Nowadays passion and passionate would probably appear more frequently in a context like Anna hated them with passion  or She burst into passionate sobbing  which suggest strong emotion affecting behaviour which is observable to others.   However, earlier meanings include "the being passive" and "the suffering from pain" (S.O.E.D. (1973:  1523, def. II a, and I)).  The Latin passio, from which both passive and passion  appear to have evolved seems to have these meanings. 

The notion that passion,  or emotion,   is something that happens to us rather than something over which we exercise control, therefore,  has roots in the distant past.  It is not something that was derived from  Behaviourist theory, although this theory may have helped to continue the notion that Emotion/ Passion happened to one into this century. Passive, as the grammatical category, maintains this connotation.  As we shall see in Chapter 3, the relation between Emotion and this grammatical category is complex.

The Individual in normal language usage

Although one may object to Jung's idea that cultural evolution promotes individuation, there is plenty of anthropological and linguistic evidence to show that more primitive tribal and communal societies tend to play down individuality for social reasons and to even consider it as positively dangerous for the general good.  This can be seen in Lutz (1988) which describes everyday sentiments and social behaviour on a Micronesian atoll.  However, the view that the  concept of the Individual is the product of more advanced societies has been contested by Myers (1986) who proposes that the very essence of Australian Aboriginal society involves a developed sense of Self-hood.

There may even be several good reasons for changing a culture to be less Self-orientated.  Some form of social engineering could perhaps be devised to bring this about.  As Gardner (1987 : 74) points out, if the Mind/ Brain debate is finally resolved in favour of the monists, society may evolve into the type imagined by Rorty in which "one talks not about ideas or feeling or beliefs but just about the stimulation of various fibers in the brain".  No doubt by that time we shall be referring to ourselves by numbers, and perhaps the notion of Self will have become extinct, but there will certainly have to be plenty of linguistic changes to encourage people to think in this way.

In the meantime, however, in English and Portuguese, we are stuck with the I or EU, and names and pronouns for Others, not to mention a whole intellectual tradition which favours the belief in individuality.  The two language do not, however, have identical systems of reference, although the first person pronouns are probably equal in semantic content, when considered out of context.  One point which needs to be analysed in more depth than I can afford here is the psychological implications of the fact that the omission of pronouns before verbs in context in Portuguese is more normal than their inclusion.  The verb form includes information about which person is referred to, and any further data is clarified by the context.  It is fair to say that the use of the pronoun before quero  (I want) - as in eu quero - is emphatic rather than normal usage.  This allows Portuguese speakers two semantic levels of  expression when referring to themselves and others.  A similar phenomenon can be noted in relation to the so-called reflexive or self-referring pronouns.

The -SELF pronouns in English are usually used as reflexive pronouns and refer to actions done to oneself - as in He washed /hurt himself.   They can also be used emphatically to draw attention to who performed the action, as in I washed that jersey myself.  In this latter case the translation into Portuguese would require the emphatic próprio - Eu próprio lavei a camisola.  The Portuguese -SE pronoun, however, is far more widely used than the English -SELF pronoun, and its functions cover a wider range.  It acts both as a reflexive and as a reciprocal pronoun, and,  as a reflexive pronoun, appears with a large number of verbs.  So frequent is its usage, however, that some experts argue that it is, at times, so lacking in semantic content as to be little more than a syntactic space-filler.  This is a point that is of particular importance to emotion and will be followed up later.

3.4.2  The validity of folk wisdom

Part of the fascination of semantic universals, for some people, is that they hope to show that certain patterns of meaning, by reappearing in some form in all languages, must have some sort of reality or truth.   This search is often prompted, consciously or unconsciously, by the type of belief, often exemplified in a Rousseau-like noble savage, that holds that somehow humanity was purer and nearer to truth in the distant past.   One can imagine that some might feel that an exhaustive study of how emotions are expressed in several languages should point - through what can be interpreted as a folk 'theory' - to a true version of what emotions, or other psychological phenomena, exist. 

However, one must be careful.  One can say that a language reflects the way of thinking of the people who use it, and one can  extend this notion to show that, because people are brought up with a particular language, their patterns of thought have been conditioned by that language.  One can also postulate that if the same semantic pattern appears in the majority of the world's languages, these patterns of meaning must bear some relation to reality  as it is perceived by most of humanity.  However, this does not prove that any particular universal view of any type of reality is, in fact, true.   It is unlikely that anyone would attempt to prove the world is flat or round, or devise theories of gravity or relativity, through the influence of the folk knowledge embedded in language, but one might be tempted to believe that the folk knowledge on emotion that is embedded in language has some kind of psychological reality.

However, just as older folk theories on physics and thermodynamics have had to yield to those of modern science, so folk theories on psychology can also be proven inadequate explanations in the modern world.  The idea of a noble savage with true emotions that have been devalued and distorted by subsequent social changes may appeal to some people, but,  as Churchland (1986: 302) says, "the image of a homo habilis  Newton squatting at the cave mouth and finally sketching out the basics of psychology[8] with jawbone and berry juice, is not very plausible".   She also goes on to say (ibid: 311) that "although folk psychology has a profound familiarity and obviousness, and although the categories of folk psychology are observationally applied, it nevertheless remains true that folk psychology is a theoretical framework and hence a framework that can be questioned and assessed".  If one examines concepts like rationality and free will, one can actually trace their history back through the philosophy of at least the last two millenia, but, as the arguments for and against them will show, they are theoretical constructs rather than objective reality.  Similarly, although one may discuss an emotion like love and claim that some form of it can be found, albeit with varying interpretations, in most languages, in most countries and in most periods of history, this constitutes a proof of its existence in folk psychology  but not necessarily of any essential reality.   Rather than try and refer back to some implausible original set of meanings, therefore, it is perhaps more sensible to regard language and linguistic concepts as developing dynamically  in the same evolutionary context as the humans who use them.  

Within these limitations, however, one of the principal aims of later chapters will be to explore in some depth the semantics underlying the syntax found with the lexicalised notions of emotions found in English and Portuguese.  To assume that some deep form of universal underlies the similarities of these phenomena in both languages would be too strong a thesis, just as it would be difficult to prove a strong Whorfian hypothesis by underlining the differences between the languages.  However, I hope to show that the behaviour of the lexemes, and the syntax related to them, in these two languages, reflects at least the folk wisdom underlying much of our theorisation about these phenomena.  Current linguistic theories about the syntax of emotion, for example, are often affected by and, in their turn, are used to justify psychology's theories about the emotions.  I also hope to show how earlier linguistic theories favoured Behavioural psychology, and to suggest how these theories take on another perspective when viewed from a more cognitivist standpoint.

3.5  Linguistics and conceptualization

One of the results of Saussure's idea of language being a structure, as in a game of chess, was the application of Structuralism to linguistics.   This view, which led to the scientific study of the structure of language through the phoneme, the morpheme and syntactic structure, but largely  ignoring meaning, which was treated with the suspicion expressed by Bloomfield described above, dominated American linguistics until the 60s. 

3.5.1 Lexical semantics

However, not everybody ruled out the study of meaning and several German and Swiss scholars persevered with what is usually known as semantic or lexical field theory.  As Lyons (1977 : 250-1) demonstrates,  the notion of lexical fields can be traced back to Herder in the 18th century, and Humboldt in the mid-nineteenth century.  Roget used this type of theory on which to base his Thesaurus (1852).  A lot of work was done in the 1920s and 30s by Ipsen, Jolles, Porzig and Trier, and later by Weisberger in the 1950s, amongst others. These theories varied in the different emphasis they gave to diachronic change and synchronic variation, and although not all were happy with 'semantic' field, they did not all make the same distinctions Lyons makes between 'lexical' field and 'conceptual' field - the difference between the lexemes used by any particular language and the objects, properties and relations external to language.  According to Lyons, some, like Trier, favoured a paradigmatic approach and grouped lexemes according to the sense relations existing between them, while others, like Porzig, preferred to consider lexemes syntagmatically, or in relation to the way they co-occurred. e.g. as in dogs bark.

Componential analysis, which has its roots in the early 18th century in the 'monads' of Leibniz, developed in European linguistics as an extension of the type of analysis proposed by Trubetskoy and the Prague functionalists for phonology, and its main proposers were Greimas (1965, 1970),  Pottier (1974), Prieto (1964, 1966)  and Coseriu and Geckler (1974).  In America it developed first from studies of anthropology as a way of analysing phenomena like kinship systems, influenced by the work of Whorf (1956), and later developed with Weinreich (1963) Bendix (1966), Nida (1975) and Lehrer (1975).  The general aim was to arrive at a minimal, or at least manageable, set of semantic universals or components which could be used to classify all lexemes in any language.   

By the 1960s, in the post-Bloomfieldian era, lexical fields and componential analysis were becoming known as structural semantics. The notion of lexical fields, the different ways in which it is interpreted, and the theory of lexical decomposition which developed from it are helpful when one is drawing up a list of lexemes, like those relating to Emotion discussed in this thesis.  It helps one to organise and group the various lexemes and distinguish the points at which they are alike or differ.  However,  none of these theories provides a satisfactory solution on its own, partly because they tend to be reductionist, and language refuses to fit easily into strict categories, and partly because the very choice of these categories is caught in the language trap of trying to be both language and meta-language. 

3.5.2  Semantics and Syntax

When Chomsky came forward with his challenge to Behaviourism and the innateness of language structures,  he developed it from a Structuralist syntactic basis. Chomsky's (1957) early hopes that universal syntactic structures might exist raised high hopes for the machine translation experts, for example. Early Generative grammar (Chomsky, early 60s) saw phrase-structure rules as the initial symbol, and the lexicon as a bank of elements with which to supply the slots in these structures. If one could work out universal deep structures for all languages, and formalise the different transformations needed to produce surface structures in individual languages, one could eventually make a bi- or multi-lingual translating machine. 

However, it soon became clear that the lexicon was far from being a set of simple concepts  and did not always behave as expected.  Attempts were then made to  discipline the lexicon by decomposing lexemes into semantic universals, so that each word came supplied with information like + or - [ANIMATE] / [MALE] / [YOUNG], drawing on the type of work already discussed as componential analysis.  This technique, too, had its limitations.  To use a well-worn example, how did one help the machine to recognise, in context, the different meanings  of bank ? 

In the mid-sixties, the 'standard theory'  proposed by  such as Katz and Postal (1964) allowed the lexicon to share the initial position with the phrase-structure rules, but by the end of the 60s and the beginning of the 70s, generative semantics, in works such as Lakoff (1971) and McCawley (1968) was claiming meanings as the original generators of semantic-syntactic structure.  Then transformations also came under attack as, once one got beyond the more easily understood transformations, like the formation of the passive, questions and negatives, and came up against formulating transformational-generative rules for meaning in the lexicon, so many transformations had to be produced to solve so many problems, that the whole process got out of control and became self-defeating. 

This led to various attempts to stipulate rules using the lexicon as the point of departure.  Lexemes should come supplied with a set of rules governing their usage.  Work on describing how lexemes co-occurred with syntactic structures had been going on quietly for some time, and pedagogically orientated grammars and dictionaries had accumulated quite a lot of information. Now, this material, like Hornby's (1974) structural classification of verbs for the Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English, could be used and improved upon by introducing some of the semantic concepts from theories such as those of case grammar. 

Valency grammar, a theory which owes much to Tesnière and several German authorities, with its emphasis on the verb as central to grammatical analysis, aimed at showing how the verb combined with various forms of complementation in a way which stressed the semantic values of the verbs themselves, together with those of the elements with which they combined. This theory has been developed for English by Allerton (1982) and for Portuguese by Busse and Vilela (1986) and Vilela (1992).

The vast quantity of information on language that was thus generated by the study of linguistics was synthesised, for English,  in works like Quirk et al. (1985), and in the pedagogical dictionaries.   Naturally, of course, the same information has also to be suitably codified for  computer intelligence as well.

Many still defend the central importance of syntax and a lot of research has been carried out by linguists such as Comrie and Shopen in search of the universal grammar underlying all languages.  These studies, like Keenan (1985), take the notion of Passive and see how it is realized in different languages. The result may not be the passive as we know it in English, when the Object of the action becomes the Subject of the passive clause, but, it is claimed,  some way of expressing the semantic notion of Passive is probably realizable syntactically in all languages.  For the purposes of psycholinguistics, this type of study is very interesting, and some would say that it is in this area that Chomsky has contributed most to expanding knowledge.   However, as Gardner (1985: 210) says, Chomsky was "never interested in language as an overall communication system" and "he now questions whether language per se  is a system worth trying to study at all". 

Others have been more pragmatic, or more hopeful, and have at least worked towards an understanding of language for communication, both for BI and AI, and  the emphasis of these apparently different schools of thought tends to depend on which type of intelligence they are most interested in.   Bresnan et al. (1982) work on what they call lexical-functional grammar and understanding "mental representations of grammatical relations", with a view to furthering the interests of psycholinguistics and AI.  According to Gardner (1985: 218), Gazdar and his colleagues are working in roughly the same direction, but by applying "semantic interpretations [ ] directly to the surface structure generated by a grammar". 

Theorists like Jackendoff and Langacker are working on what they call 'cognitive' linguistics.  Langacker (1987: 5) claims that:

"..cognitive grammar reflects a growing intellectual trend in the analysis of language and mind, away from a mechanistic conception and towards a conception more appropriate for biological systems".

He goes on to say (ibid: 6) that "linguists cannot expect to walk into a psychology shop or an AI emporium and find an adequate model sitting on the shelf", although he says they "can expect to find there a great many useful concepts and insights about language behaviour and cognitive processes in general".  He also warns that "many of the tacit assumptions underlying contemporary linguistic research are gratuitous at best, and probably false".  He warns against the dangers of looking for absolute language universals, and emphasizes the need to analyze language in its natural state, and to consider all the different levels of language.   Having said all this, he then attempts, in Langacker (1991), to look at the notions linguists have formulated over the years from the standpoint of cognitive processes. 

Those who study syntax tend to concentrate on sentences, but these too, are no longer considered sufficient unto themselves.  Their relationship with each other, and with those who produce and receive them, have become the focus of interest of pragmatics. Linguists like Halliday and Hasan (1976) talked of 'cohesion' and others, like Van Dijk (1977), talked of 'coherence', to describe the 'glue' that produced texts from sentences.  Reference, substitution, ellipsis, conjunction, deixis, anaphora, and other concepts were explored to provide an analysis of this glue.  The status of sentences as speech acts, as proposed by Austin (1962), and Searle (1969), Grice's (1981) conversational implicature, and factors such as presupposition and all the background knowledge, individual, social and cultural, implicit in normal conversation  are being examined.  

The realisation at a general academic level that causation is not just 'bottom-up' but functions at several levels has affected linguistics in rather the same way as physics. However, linguists, like scientists, cannot cover every aspect of their discipline and still have to work away at their particular levels.  There is one school of linguistics, nonetheless,  which has recognised from an early date that language functions at several levels. and it is that known as systemic or functional grammar.   It arose out of Firth's work in the 50s, and its principal theorist is M.A.K. Halliday.  Although accepting that much can be gained from the syntactic analyses done by other schools of grammar, systemic linguistics has always emphasised the psychological and sociological functions of grammar.  

Halliday's view of language is essentially semantic and his work, and that of his followers, examines not only clause structure, but also the general context of any linguistic situation, the focus given to what is expressed by variations in sentence and clause structure, and the rhythm and intonation which cause the actual sequence of words said to vary in meaning.  His functional grammar, synthesised in Halliday (1984), assumes that language is a system of semantically based choices.  As he points out, systemic linguistics has been used by AI, and there are many who would agree that "because it is based on meaning, it is harder for a functional grammar to get off the ground in computable form; but once it is airborne it has a considerable range" (ibid : xxix). 

Halliday may be responsible for inspiring a lot of interesting linguistic research, but he is careful to say that "it is unlikely that any one account of language will be appropriate for all purposes" (ibid: xxix).  Perhaps this is the attitude which attracts me personally to his work.   My experience of linguistics is that different schools of thought can usually contribute quite differently, both qualitatively and quantitatively, to the analysis of language.  This is particularly true, I have found, if one is studying a lexically circumscribed area like that I propose to examine here.

3.6  The multi-level approach

Although the days when the distinction between semantic and syntactic aspects of language was considered an obvious difference between the meaning and the structure of the language are long since gone, it is still possible to use the terms syntax and semantics, in the sense that syntax describes the linguistic structures which serve to organize the less easily definable concept of meaning, or semantics, in a way which makes communication possible.  Also, for the sake of analysis, it is still possible to postulate facts about individual aspects of language without always taking the 'grand plan' into consideration.  What is essential is that one should never forget the existence of the grand plan, and that one should be conscious of one's own position in relation to it when discussing the details.       

I should like, therefore, to state at this point that my interest is more in semantics, and the semantics of syntax as it combines with certain lexemes, than in syntax for the sake of syntax, or in lexemes in isolation. For this reason, I prefer to see how both semantics and syntax actually do function  in normal language contexts,  rather than how certain linguists say they can function. One could say that here I am making the Saussurean distinction between langue  and parole, but perhaps the type of distinction made by those who distinguish between proposition, sentence and utterance  would be more appropriate.  These terms are used fairly widely, particularly  by systemic linguists like Bell (1995), and make a distinction between the abstract message which is presumed to be encodable in all different languages, or the proposition; the same message as it is formally realizable in a particular language, or the sentence; and the message in a definite context, or the utterance. According to these distinctions, my interest is primarily in the utterance.

However,  Coseriu  (1982) also makes a distinction  between what I shall translate from the Spanish as 'system', 'norm' and 'speech', which will make my position even clearer. Coseriu (1982)  in his first article, Sistema, Norma e Habla, makes a distinction between the system which one could interpret as the more abstract form of a language, understandable perhaps as the basic semantic and syntactic structures at the language user's disposal[9]; norm, which is the way these structures have been formalized within the linguistic community[10] and even, by extension, in each individual's capacity for language[11];  and speech which, combining the knowledge implicit in the system and the norm,  is the real-life expression of language in what can be called acts of speech.  Coseriu, however, while making this distinction, is at pains to demonstrate the way each level is dependent on, and connected to the others.

One could say that the first chapters  have discussed the problem of the language of Emotion largely from the point of view of the system, such as it, and the propositions based on it, may exist at the universal level of human language, or at the level of a specific language like English or Portuguese.  The following chapters could be seen as a closer examination of this system in the two languages, and how this system leads to the norm and can be encoded in sentences, as it is interpreted by certain schools of linguistics.  When discussing the system and norm in this way, I shall frequently make use of sentences of the simple variety traditionally used by linguists to illustrate points related to the norm.

However, when discussing certain general points that have been prompted by an analysis of the corpora, and with the more specific description of lexical areas, the discussion centres on the examples taken from the corpora, and these examples should be understood to be taken from speech and considered as utterances[12].     By collecting and analysing every example of each lexeme in all the texts used, it was possible to discern quite definite patterns of lexical, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic usage.  My objective, when making suggestions about the nature of the language of Emotion, is to work from the level of speech to the norm, and then, rather more tentatively, to the system.  In other words, I am interested in how speech can lead to clearer information about norm and system, rather than how system and norm explain aspects of speech.

 My approach does not mean that I am in actually hostile to the more norm or system based analyses of language.  I recognize the need for such analyses, and I am fully aware that, in order to study linguistic universals over several languages, or some universal system, it is sometimes necessary to stretch the possibilities of syntactic structures a little to show how they fit into the general theory, and, from a psycholinguistic point of view, this is, at times, justifiable.

Since, however, two not too dissimilar languages are under consideration here, I prefer to adopt an approach which emphasises the way the syntax is influenced by the semantic aspects common to both languages, as well as the differences that do appear.   By using the quantitative analysis made possible by the corpora, in conjunction with the  qualitative analysis based on grammatical theory, I hope to arrive at an informed, but relatively objective view of the problems involved.  An analysis like this does not favour sharp distinctions or hard-and-fast rules, but it does allow for a consideration of the gradients of meaning which emerge when normal communicative aspects of language are under observation.   This is an approach which is particularly appropriate, if not absolutely essential, if one is studying such a fuzzy area as Emotion. 

Another point that  emerges from a study of the speech to norm analysis of language is that certain rules of the norm, while still valid when considering speech, do not explain certain more pragmatically orientated linguistic phenomena.   For example,  the distinction between attributive and predicative adjectives made by the Quirk grammars is very suitable for English, and has its parallel in Portuguese grammars such as Cunha and Cintra (1984) using the terms adnominal and predicativo.  However, such rules do not help explain why only 8,3% of the examples of adjectives describing the emoter's frame of mind lost their copular verb through processes such as ellipsis in the English Corpus (EC),  compared with 66,9%  of similar examples in the Portuguese Corpus (PC). 

If one wishes to choose a theory, or particular metalanguage in which to describe the syntax of a particular lexical area, there are several to choose from.  However, it should be recognized that that each theory is merely one  attempt to give order to the same basic, and rather disorderly, reality of language.  These efforts are not always prompted by the same needs, and it is obvious that those who seek a successful way of programming their computers to use language will be subject to rather different pressures to those whose principal objective is to understand the part language plays in helping and conditioning human beings to understand their environment.   Although Mind/Brain monists will point out that the final objective is a synthesis of the two approaches, this point of view is not shared by all those involved, and does not prompt all theories about language. 

If my objective were to teach a computer the syntax of Emotion, or if I were principally interested in Coseriu's system, I might choose one of the more mathematically orientated theories.  However, since my interest is in his notion of speech and more semantic considerations, it would make better sense to choose a more overtly semantically based theory which concentrates on the way language functions in real texts, rather than  on its nature as a function of the brain.   It is for this reason that I prefer to use  functional systemic terminology.

[1]  The results of these investigations, recorded in Crystal p. 46 -7 appear to have been Phrygian, in the case of Psammetichus - 7th century B.C.; inconclusive, the children died, with Frederick II of Hohenstaufen - 13th century; and Hebrew, with James IV of Scotland - 15th century.

[2]  As a result of his first observations he formed schools for the deaf which taught and developed this sign language.  This in effect allowed many of the young congenitally deaf to develop their linguistic and conceptual abilities in the normal developmental way by using Sign as a mother tongue, and learning French as a second language later, thereby often producing highly-educated deaf people.  In the 19th century teaching the deaf by signs was considered a drawback to integration in normal society and all  efforts were concentrated on teaching them, usually with very limited success, to use normal speech.  The result, for the totally deaf, was usually that so much effort was dedicated to this more mechanical end that little was left over for more general conceptual development and the children remained intellectually deprived.  Piaget's and Chomsky's findings have contributed to a reversal of this situation.

[3]  Nowadays the interest of psychologists and linguists is to discover the extent to which one can claim that certain predispositions to acquire language structures are innate.  Some claim that  these language structures are so highly abstract as to be hardly relevant to the idea of  specific "innate" concepts.  Others, taking the view that linguistic structure must relate to natural languages and, consequently, meaning, hope to see evidence of natural concepts emerge from the research.

[4]  Genie was discovered in 1970 and who had been deprived of human contact between the ages of 20 months and 13 years of age,

[5]  Kaspar Hauser was found in 1828, having been imprisoned in solitary confinement between the ages of 3 and 16,

[6]  McNaughton  (1989 : 104) "It seems reasonable to suppose that a similar combination of genetic foundation and developmentally influenced superstructure could exist for emotional systems.  thus the developmental data show that there are indeed, in the neonate, separate innate systems which form the basis for separate adult emotions.  However, they also suggest that the normal form of each adult emotion depends on the appropriate moulding, during development, of a number of innate components."

[7]  One should be careful to make to make a distinction between linguistic philosophy, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of linguistics before going on to see at what points their interests converge and diverge in relation to conceptualization.   Linguistic philosophy usually refers to the attempts by philosophers to discover WHAT language means, whether one is referring to the ideal language(s) of the logicians or to the real languages, like English, studied by the 'ordinary language' philosophers; the philosophy of language, according to Searle (1973 : 1)  refers to the way both linguists and philosophers  attempt to "analyse certain general features of language such as meaning, reference, truth, verification, speech acts and logical necessity", or HOW language means; and the philosophy of linguistics describes how the study of language through linguistics is affected by current trends in more general as well as linguistic philosophy.

[8]  I am presuming here that Churchland sees her homo habilis  as conceptualising, either symbolically or linguistically, or in some way which evolves into linguistic symbols in some primeval language.

[9] "El sistema es sistema de posibilidades, de coordenados que indican caminos abiertos y caminos cerrados: puede considerarse como conjunto de <<imposiciones>>, pero también, y quizá mejor, com conjunto de liberdades, puesto que admite infinitas realizaciones y sólo exige que no se afecten las condiciones funcionalses del instrumento linguïstico: más biem que <<imperativo>>, su índole es consultativo".  Coseriu (1982 : p. 98).

[10] " La norma es, en efecto, un sistema de realizaciones obligadas, de imposiciones sociales y culturales, y varia según la comunidad.  Dentro de la misma comunidad lingüistica nacional y dentro del mismo sistema funcional pueden comprobarse varias normas (lenguaje familiar, lenguaje popular, lenguaje literaria, lenguaje elevado, lenguaje vulgar, etcétera), distintas sobre todo por lo que concierne al vocabulário, pero a menudo también en las formas gramaticales y en su pronunciación".  ibid. p. 99.

[11]  "... si se consideran los actos lingüisticos de un sólo individuo, hay que introducir en el esquema, entre los límites del hablar y los de la norma social, un campo intermedio, correspondiente a la norma individual..."  ibid. p. 96.

[12]  Although the language in the corpora is restricted to the language production of a few individuals and, as such is subject to the limitations already discussed in the Introduction, these acts of speech are, nevertheless, examples of speech and not of the system or norm.

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