E-ISSN:2342-0251

EMOTION WORDS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNERS’ NARRATIVES


Expressing emotions effectively through a variety of words conveying subtle gradations of emotions is an essential component of communicative competence in a language. Meanwhile, the acquisition of emotion words in a foreign language may posit a major challenge for language learners due to the highly culture and language specific nature of emotion lexicons. This study aimed to investigate how emotion words in English as a foreign language are used by upper-intermediate level Turkish learners and to discover possible variation in emotion expression in the native and foreign languages. Autobiographical narratives of positive and negative emotional experiences written by learners’ both in L2 English and L1 Turkish were analyzed in terms of the productivity of emotion words (emotion word tokens), diversity of emotion words (ratio of emotion lemmas to tokens) and the particular lexical choices by learners (most frequently used words, misused words, underused words, lexical category). The results demonstrated that while the productivity of emotion vocabulary differed across the English and Turkish narratives, lexical diversity was similar across the two languages. The analysis further indicated that the most frequently used emotion words in foreign language narratives were those with (near) conceptual equivalences in Turkish and that misuse and underuse of several emotion words in English narratives were due to the differences in the encoding of emotion concepts in Turkish and English. The findings point out to the problems in expressing emotions in a foreign language and the importance of integrating emotion vocabulary as a separate domain in foreign language classrooms.


Keywords


emotion vocabulary, communicative competence, L2 English, L1 Turkish

Author : Dilek UYGUN GÖKMEN -& Aslıhan EMİRMUSTAFAOĞLU-YARICI
Number of pages: 394-408
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18033/ijla.3878
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International Journal of Language Academy
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