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Dynamic emotion concepts of L2 learners and L2 users: A Second Language Acquisition perspective


Pavlenko's keynote paper calls for a rethinking of models of the mental lexicon in the light of recent research into emotion and bilingualism. The author makes a convincing case for the inclusion of affective aspects in the study of the mental lexicon. Indeed, the knowledge of the degree of emotionality of a word and of its affective valence is just as important as the knowledge of that word's grammatical class, or its gender. From a pragmatic point of view, one could argue that an L2 user's inaccurate or incomplete understanding of the emotionality and valence of an emotion word, or an emotion-laden word, in the L2 might lead to unwanted illocutionary effects, which might be far more embarrassing than phonological, morphological or syntactical errors.

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M. Besemeres (2004). Different languages, different emotions? Perspectives from autobiographical literature. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 25 (2/3), 140158.

J.-M. Dewaele (2007b). Diachronic and/or synchronic variation? The acquisition of sociolinguistic competence in L2 French. In D. Ayoun (ed.), Handbook of French applied linguistics, pp. 208236. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

J.-M. Dewaele & A. Pavlenko (2002). Emotion vocabulary in interlanguage. Language Learning, 52, 265324.

A. Pavlenko (2003). Eyewitness memory in late bilinguals: Evidence for discursive relativity. The International Journal of Bilingualism, 7 (3), 257281.

A. Pavlenko & V. Driagina (2007). Russian emotion vocabulary in American learners' narratives. The Modern Language Journal, 91 (2), 213234.

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Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
  • ISSN: 1366-7289
  • EISSN: 1469-1841
  • URL: /core/journals/bilingualism-language-and-cognition
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