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Motion in Emotion: Cognitive Metaphors in Malay and Indonesian Lyric Poetry and Song Texts

How do metaphors shape our emotion and cognition? Do Malay and Indonesian speakers conceptualize their emotion in terms of motion as hypothesized? To what extent can this conceptualization of emotion be seen as universal and what are its cultural-specific features?

Project No. G 311

Husna Jamal

Widespread in Malay and Indonesian languages are metaphorical expressions that describe abstract emotion in terms of physical motion. Motivated by the cognitive semantic approach to metaphor, this study aims to explore the set of patterns which underlies our conceptual grounding of affect, with a particular emphasis on investigating the human mind-body connection. This is to be achieved through metaphor identification and linguistic analysis on lyric poetry and song texts, followed by detailed descriptive accounts thereof.

Because poems and songs are outlets for strong personal feelings, they make a rich and ideal source for investigating the human emotion at its peak. Looking at metaphor as a tool of emotion description in 50 lyric poems and pop songs written in Malay and Indonesian in the last 10 years, the results of the analysis will reveal metaphor patterns that will help us postulate the conceptual metaphors of emotion of these languages. This will at the same time enable us to test the initial hypothesis "There is motion in our emotion". Also taking into consideration the cognitive and cultural aspects of metaphor, analysis results will be compared to results of existing studies on metaphors of emotion in other languages to provide a cultural comparative dimension to this study.




Prof. Dr. Gisela Klann-Delius

Prof. Dr. Birgitt Röttger-Rössler