In awe of God, nature and technology : a lexical approach to the differentiation of emotional responses

Smirnova, Alexandra (2021) In awe of God, nature and technology : a lexical approach to the differentiation of emotional responses. 3L; Language,Linguistics and Literature,The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies., 27 (4). pp. 230-243. ISSN 0128-5157


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This article investigates typical usage patterns of the word awe in the English language and how it is related to psychology to depict specific lexical representation of emotions. Contextual analysis of the corpus data revealed inconsistencies in the lexicographic description of awe, regarded by most dictionaries as monosemous. Using linguistic tools of analysis, a functional classification of awe experiences in English-speaking culture was created in the form of a dictionary entry for the word awe. The analysis demonstrates that awe has a threefold sense structure based on two major distinctions: 1) evaluative attitudes of the perceiving self (ambivalent, positive, negative) and 2) vastness of perceived stimulus (transcendental vs mundane). The established collocational patterns suggest that cases exist of purely negative transcendence described by the word awe as it is largely overlooked by modern psychological studies because of prescriptive research designs. Therefore, the descriptive tools of lexical analysis might better be considered for improved differentiation of the emotional states as highlighted in typical collocational patterns of natural language.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Archetype; Awe; Corpus analysis; Lexicography; Transcendental experience
Journal:3L ; Journal of Language, Linguistics and Literature
ID Code:18439
Deposited By: ms aida -
Deposited On:13 Apr 2022 00:49
Last Modified:16 Apr 2022 07:14

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