Language and emotion

"A world experienced without any affect would be a pallid, meaningless world. We would know that things happened, but we could not care whether they did or not" (Tomkins 1979: 203, cited in Planalp 1999: 9).

Much of our theoretical machinery in linguistics is geared towards the referential functions of language. And while these functions are important, our focus on them has left other realms of language underdeveloped.

Speakers use language to express their attitudes towards the things they are talking about and the people they are speaking to. Pragmatists move us behind reference and sociolinguists bring us into the social, yet neither really has much to say about the emotive function of language, which "flavors to some extent all our utterances, on their phonic, grammatical, and lexical level" (Jakobson 1960: 354).

The phrase "language and emotion" covers a wide range of topics--this page collects essays and reading notes that pursue a number of different angles.

My dissertation

Emotions are relational: Positioning and the use of affective linguistic resources

Recent presentations

I gave a presentation on "Affective patterns using words and emoticons in Twitter" at NWAV 40 at Georgetown, October 30, 2011. 

Check out my presentation, "Studying emotion in the field" at Berkeley's Fieldwork Forum, October 19, 2011. 

"The emotional profile of words" at LLACAN's annual scientific meeting in Paris (December 10, 2010--this is the Langage, Langues et Cultures d'Afrique Noire a group within CNRS). 

My November 17, 2010 talk at Nuance is here: Introduction to emotion detection.

My November 4, 2010 NWAV presentation talks about emotion, too: Variation in speech tempo: Capt. Kirk, Mr. Spock, and all of us in between.

And here's the abstract for my October 15, 2010 talk at the California Universities Semantics and Pragmatics Workshop (CUSP): The structure of the affective lexicon.


The following essays pursue themes more than theses. 

Reading notes

The formatting for these reading notes is a little odd--the left and right columns are unrelated (so you read straight down).

Amir, N., & Cohen, R. (2007). Characterizing Emotion in the Soundtrack of an Animated Film: Credible or Incredible? Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction, 148–158. Reading notes.

Ang, J., Dhillon, R., Krupski, A., Shriberg, E., & Stolcke, A. (2002). Prosody-based automatic detection of annoyance and frustration in human-computer dialog. In Seventh International Conference on Spoken Language Processing. Reading notes.

Barrett, L. F. (2006). Solving the emotion paradox: Categorization and the experience of emotion. Personality and social psychology review, 10(1), 20. Cited by 168. Reading notes.

Bednarek, Monika. (2008). Emotion Talk Across Corpora. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Reading notes.

Benus, S., Gravano, A., & Hirschberg, J. (2007). Prosody, emotions, and…‘whatever’. In Proceedings of International Conference on Speech Communication and Technology (pp. 2629–2632). Reading notes.

Benveniste, E. (1971). Subjectivity in language. Problems in general linguistics, 223–230. Cited by 270. Reading notes.

Ben-Ze'ev, A. (2000). The subtlety of emotions. Cambridge: The MIT Press. Cited by 307. Reading notes.

Besnier, N. (1990). Language and Affect. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol 19, pp. 419-451. Cited by 153. Reading notes.

Biadsy, F., Rosenberg, A., Carlson, R., Hirschberg, J., & Strangert, E. (2008). A Cross-Cultural Comparison of American, Palestinian, and Swedish Perception of Charismatic Speech. Proc. Speech Prosody, Campinas Brazil. Reading notes.

Biber, D., & Finegan, E. (1988). Adverbial stance types in English. Discourse Processes, 11(1), 1–34. Cited by 104. Reading notes.

Brown, P. and S. Levinson. (1987). Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cited by 6,499. Reading notes (with Watts notes, too).

Bucholtz, Mary. (2009). From Stance to Style: Gender, Interaction, and Indexicality in Mexican Immigrant Youth Slang. In Alexandra Jaffe (ed) Stance: Sociolinguistic Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 146-170. Reading notes.

Buck, R. (1984). The communication of emotion. New York: Guilford Press. Cited by 695. Reading notes.

«etin, O., & Shriberg, E. (2006). Analysis of overlaps in meetings by dialog factors, hot spots, speakers, and collection site: insights for automatic speech recognition. In Proceedings ICSLP (pp. 2281-2284). Pittsburgh. Reading notes.

Clavel, C., Vasilescu, I., & Devillers, L. (2011). Fiction support for realistic portrayals of fear-type emotional manifestations. Computer Speech & Language, 25(1), 63 - 83. Reading notes.

Cowie, R., & Cornelius, R. R. (2003). Describing the emotional states that are expressed in speech. Speech Communication, 40(1-2), 5–32. Cited by 288.  Reading notes.

Damasio, A. (2006/1994). Descartes' error: emotion, reason and the human brain. London: Vintage. Reading notes.

Du Bois, J. W. (2007). The stance triangle. In Stancetaking in discourse: Subjectivity, evaluation, interaction (pp. 139–182). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Reading notes.

Ekman, P., & Davidson, R. J. (Eds.). (1994). The nature of emotion. New York: Oxford University Press. Cited by 225. Reading notes.

Enos, F., Shriberg, E., Graciarena, M., Hirschberg, J., & Stolcke, A. (2007). Detecting deception using critical segments. In Proceedings Interspeech (pp. 1621-1624). Antwerp. Reading notes.

Forgas, J. P. (Ed.). (2000). Feeling and thinking: The role of affect in social cognition. Paris: Cambridge University Press. See Zajonc notes, especially last pages.

Goffman, E. (1978). Response Cries. Language, 54(4), 787-815. Cited by 141. Reading notes.

Grimm, M., Kroschel, K., Mower, E., & Narayanan, S. (2007). Primitives-based evaluation and estimation of emotions in speech. Speech Communication, 49(10-11), 787–800. Reading notes.

Hymes, D. (1972). Models of the interaction of language and social life. In J. Gumperz & D. Hymes (Eds.), Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of Communication. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston. Reading notes.

Izard, C. E. (2009). Emotion theory and research: Highlights, unanswered questions, and emerging issues. Annual Review of Psychology, 60(1), 1-25. Cited by 26. Reading notes.

Kandali, A. B., Routray, A., & Basu, T. K. (2009). Vocal emotion recognition in five native languages of Assam using new wavelet features. International Journal of Speech Technology, 12(1), 1–13. Reading notes.

Kiesling, Scott. 2009. Style as Stance: Stance as the Explanation for Patterns of Sociolinguistic Variation. In Alexandra Jaffe (ed) Stance: Sociolinguistic Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 171-194. Reading notes.

Kleinginna, P. R., & Kleinginna, A. M. (1981). A categorized list of emotion definitions, with suggestions for a consensual definition. Motivation and emotion, 5(4), 345–379. Cited by 445. Reading notes.

Laukka, P., & Juslin, P. N. (2007). Similar patterns of age-related differences in emotion recognition from speech and music. Motivation and Emotion, 31(3), 182–191. Reading notes.

Laukka, P., Neiberg, D., Forsell, M., Karlsson, I., & Elenius, K. (2011). Expression of affect in spontaneous speech: Acoustic correlates and automatic detection of irritation and resignation. Computer Speech & Language, 25(1), 84 - 104. Reading notes.

Latour, B. Various topics--truth, rationality, constructivism, sociology, Tarde, quantification, Serres. Reading notes.

Liscombe, J., Hirschberg, J., & Venditti, J. J. (2005). Detecting Certainness in Spoken Tutorial Dialogues. PROCEEDINGS OF INTERSPEECH. Retrieved from Reading notes.

Lutz, C., & White, G. M. (1986). The anthropology of emotions. Annual Review of Anthropology, 15(1), 405–436. Cited by 495. Reading notes.

Maynard, S. (2002). Linguistic emotivity: Centrality of place, the topic-comment dynamic, and an ideology of pathos in Japanese discourse. John Benjamins Publishing Company. Reading notes.

Myers Scotton, C. (1983). The negotiation of identities in conversation: A theory of markedness and code choice. International journal of the sociology of language, 44, 115–136. Cited by 157. Reading notes.

Ochs, E., & Schieffelin, B. (1989). Language has a heart. Text-Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse, 9(1), 7–26. Cited by 192. Reading notes.

Ortony, A., Clore, G., Collins, A. (1988). The cognitive structure of emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cited by 3,236. Reading notes.

Pennebaker, J., Mehl, M., & Niederhoffer, K. (2003). Psychological aspects of natural language use: Our words, our selves. Annual review of psychology, 54(1), 547–577. Cited by 298. Reading notes.

Pickering, M. and Garrod, S. 2004. Toward a mechanistic psychology of dialogue. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 2. pp 169-190. Cited by 532. Reading notes.

Planalp, S. 1999. Communicating Emotion: Social, Moral, and Cultural Processes. Cited by 148. Cited by 154. Reading notes.

Potts, C. 2007. The expressive dimension. Theoretical Linguistics, 33(2), 165-198. Reading notes, including responses to the target article.

Rabow, J. (1983). Psychoanalysis and sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 9(1), 555–578. Cited by 9. Reading notes.

Russell, J. A., Bachorowski, J., & FernŠndez-Dols, J. (2003). Facial and vocal expressions of emotion. Annual Review of Psychology, 54(1), 329-349. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.54.101601.145102. Cited by 190. Reading notes.

Scheff, T. J. (1983). Toward integration in the social psychology of emotions. Annual Review of Sociology, 9(1), 333–354. Cited by 36. Reading notes.

Searle, J. (1983). Intentionality: An essay in the philosophy of mind (Vol. 9). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Cited by 1,854. Reading notes.

Shami, M., & Verhelst, W. (2007). An evaluation of the robustness of existing supervised machine learning approaches to the classification of emotions in speech. Speech Communication, 49(3), 201–212. Cited by 49. Reading notes.

Skinner, Q. (1979). The idea of a cultural lexicon. Essays in Criticism, 29(3), 205-224. Cited by 13. Reading notes.

Sobol-Shikler, T. (2011). Automatic inference of complex affective states. Computer Speech & Language, 25(1), 45 - 62. Reading notes.

Solomon, R. C. (1973). Emotions and choice. The Review of Metaphysics, 27(1), 20–41. Cited by 168. Reading notes.

de Sousa, R. (2010). Emotion. Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University. Reading notes

Thoits, P. A. (1989). The sociology of emotions. Annual Review of Sociology, 15(1), 317–342. Cited by 235. Reading notes.

Watts, R. (2003). Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cited by 349. Reading notes (with Brown & Levinson notes, too).

Wetherell, M. (1998). Positioning and interpretative repertoires: Conversation analysis and post-structuralism in dialogue. Discourse & Society, 9(3), 387. Cited by 659. Reading notes.

Wilce, J. M. (2010). Language and emotion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reading notes.

Williams, R. (1983). Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society. Oxford University Press US. Cited by 3,063. Reading notes.

Zajonc, R. B. (2000). Feeling and thinking: Closing the debate over the independence of affect. (J. P. Forgas, Ed.) Feeling and Thinking: The Role of Affect in Social Cognition, 31-58. Reading notes.

Zajonc, R. B. (1980). Feeling and thinking: preferences need no inferences. American psychologist, 35(2), 151-175. Reading notes.

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