DFG-ANR, Franco-German edition 2009
The Lexis of Emotion in Five European Languages : Semantics, Syntax and Discourse
Grounded in a multilingual and multidisciplinary approach (intra- and interlingual typology, lexical semantics, syntax, lexicography, foreign language teaching, computational linguistics) this corpus-based project pursues various objectives. The first aim is to deepen and conjoin the representationist and contextualist approaches to meaning (i. e. meaning ≈ concept versus meaning ≈ usage). The second aim is to harness the relevant theories to practical implementation. In order to achieve this it will be necessary to carry out a contrastive analysis of the semantic values, combinatory (lexematic and syntactic) behaviour and discourse roles of the lexemes relating to emotions in five European languages (German, French, English, Russian and Spanish). The research findings will provide a better overview of the lexical field of emotions, thereby making it possible to move beyond existing lexicological and lexicographical studies. Finally, this “cartography” of the lexis of emotion is meant to result in new applications for foreign language teaching, lexicography and computational linguistics. In the context of this project new didactic material needs to be devised to improve teaching/acquisition of the preferred lexical combinations in the languages dealt with (i. e. rouge de colère, red with rage, rot vor Wut) leading to a systematic use of collocations in written and oral text production. At the same time the representation of the lexical combinatory of the lexis of emotion will help to create a new type of lexicographical microstructures which are able to incorporate sufficient contextual information. Looking at it from a computational linguistic perspective the aim is to develop existing applications for the computation and query of frequencies and syntactic structures in large multilingual corpora and to create new tools adjusted to the requirements of the project’s research questions. Emolex combines the competencies of researchers in linguistics, foreign language teaching and computational linguistics and represents a promising link between fundamental and applied research.