ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited: Differences in Emotion Metaphors between Experts and Laypersons in the Genre Psychology Guides
Anke Beger & Olaf Jäkel, Flensburg
Metaphors conceptualizing emotions (Kövecses 1986, 1988, 1990, 1995, 2000) represent a well researched area in the framework of a cognitive theory of metaphor (Lakoff & Johnson 1980,
1999). The present paper investigates from an onomasiological (Jäkel 1997, 2003) point of view metaphors in the target domains of ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS. The study is based on an English corpus of psychology guides freely available on the internet. The main aim is to tackle prevailing metaphorical models underlying the discourse between experts and lay- persons in order to shed light on the ubiquity of conceptual metaphors. The paper, further- more, attempts to deal with the implications of expert metaphors and their rhetorical surplus in the context of a psychological counseling discourse.
Die Emotionsmetaphorik gehört zu den im Rahmen der Kognitiven Metapherntheorie si- cherlich am meisten untersuchten Domänen. Um zunächst einmal verlässlichere Ergebnisse zu authentischen Diskursen in den Zieldomänen ANGER, LOVE und SADNESS zu erhalten, werden in der vorzustellenden Untersuchung über das Internet zugängliche englischspra- chige Psychoratgeber als Datenkorpus ausgewertet. Die eigentliche Zielsetzung der Untersu- chung aber besteht im Vergleich des Diskurses zwischen Laien und Experten in den fragli- chen Themenfeldern. Welche Metaphernmodelle sind durch das Korpusmaterial belegbar? Wie steht es mit deren absoluter und relativer Auftretenshäufigkeit? Wie werden die einzel- nen konzeptuellen Metaphern in konkreten Redeweisen ausgenutzt? Als Ergebnis werden Unterschiede bezüglich der verwendeten Metaphernmodelle herausgearbeitet, welche ein interessantes neues Licht auf die Frage der Alltagssprachlichkeit konzeptueller Metaphern werfen. Darüber hinaus lassen sich auch Folgerungen für die Motivation besonders der Ex- perten-Metaphorik sowie deren rhetorisch-kommunikativen 'Mehrwert' im Ratgeber- Diskurs ziehen.
"We all know what anger is, and we've all felt it: whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage." [www.apa.org/topics/controlanger.html]
Within the framework of the Cognitive Theory of Metaphor (Lakoff & Johnson
1980, 1999; Lakoff 1987, 1993), emotion metaphors figure prominently as one of the best researched domains (Kövecses 1986, 1988, 1990, 1995, 2000; Lakoff
& Kövecses 1987a, 1987b). Many of those studies, however, can be criticized for methodological flaws or an eclectic use of linguistic data (see, e.g., Jäkel
2003: 134f.). Our investigation analyzes English psychology guides available on the internet as corpus. This way, first of all, we gain reliable and quantifi- able results from authentic discourses in those target domains ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS. While in principle this makes our approach a case of onomasi- ological-cognitive metaphor analysis (Jäkel 1997, 2003), the nature of the cor- pus gives our analysis a genre-specific orientation.
The central purpose of our study, however, is to compare the discourse be- tween experts and laypersons in the fields under investigation. Which meta- phorical models can be attested on the basis of the corpus data? What are the findings concerning their absolute and relative frequency? How are the vari- ous conceptual metaphors utilized in concrete expressions? As a result we will bring out differences in the use of metaphorical models, yielding an interesting new perspective on the ubiquity of conceptual metaphors in everyday lan- guage. Furthermore, we can draw some conclusions concerning the motiva- tion and communicative-rhetorical 'surplus value' of expert metaphors in that discourse of guidance and counselling.
We will start with a short section (2.) on methodology, which precedes the main part of this paper (3.) with the presentation of the results of the investiga- tion. Three subsections devoted to ANGER (3.1), LOVE (3.2), and SADNESS (3.3) respectively, will be followed by a last subsection (3.4) summarizing a number of overall findings. The final section (4.) draws some conclusions.
First of all, where can we find linguistic material to study metaphors of emo- tion based not on introspection, but on authentic discourse data? And second, where do we find experts and laypersons communicating on issues concerning emotions? In order to gain reliable and quantifiable results from authentic dis- courses about the target domains ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS, English psy- chology guides available on the internet were investigated (Beger 2008). There are various web sites containing sections for people to turn to for advice with their emotional problems. Assuming that the language of those who seek help with their emotional problems is likely to differ depending on whether they
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
believe to write to an expert or talk to another layperson, the investigation fo- cused on those web pages where a permanent team of experts or a single ex- pert answers questions about emotional problems. All of these sites were ac- cessed in the spring of 2008 (for details, cf. the list in the appendix). In an attempt to establish professional credibility, web sites like these often adver- tise that their counsellors hold some degree or qualification which enables them to deal with emotional difficulties. Though the truth of these claims can- not really be verified, there is an even more basic problem here: Is it a degree in psychology that makes anybody an expert in matters concerning LOVE, ANGER, or SADNESS? Or what else is? For the purposes of the present inves- tigation, we simply apply a functional, discourse-pragmatic definition of ex- perts versus laypersons. As the discourse we are dealing with is clearly asym- metric, with a basic structure of questions and adjacent answers, we treat those interlocutors offering advice on emotions as experts, and those seeking advice about emotional problems from experts as laypersons.
In addition to this question-plus-answer discourse, some longer textual pas- sages about problems concerning ANGER, LOVE, and SADNESS written by experts for an anonymous audience of laypersons were included in the corpus. This of course adds to the general asymmetry displayed by the discourse data, in which typically relatively short contributions by laypersons are followed by more or less elaborate answers from experts. As a result, the experts' share of the corpus is larger than the laypersons' share (see below).
As only psychology guides were explored, the corpus has a genre-specific ori- entation. In general, the discourse topic is determined by a problem with one of the investigated emotions as well as by the fact that someone turns to an expert with this problem. Compared with normal everyday conversation, this particular kind of discourse presumably favours, or even triggers, certain kinds of concepts of ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS. In a conversation with a friend, those same laypersons would probably talk differently, which might include the use of other metaphors. Likewise, they might choose different con- cepts when they do not have an acute problem with one of the emotions. The same is true for experts. Their language will probably differ in other conversa- tional settings. Matters like these, as well as the question whether the use of
metaphors alters in spoken conversation, represent interesting fields for fur-
ther research (Beger 2009). However, the present investigation aims at compar- ing the language of laypersons and experts in the given discourse setting.
Other sociolinguistic factors like age, gender or social status of the interlocu- tors were not accounted for when the study was conducted. Even though there are sometimes hints in the corpus data regarding the gender and even the age of contributors, this information is not reliable. The laypersons posing ques- tions on the investigated web sites remain anonymous and can therefore lie regarding their age, gender, or any other personal information. Also, men can turn to pages designed for women for help, and adults can consult web sites for teenagers. This would also be the case if printed media were researched instead of the internet.
As a whole, the investigated corpus consists of 41,250 words, or 2469 sentences respectively. Of the three subcorpora, the ANGER corpus is the smallest, con- taining 673 sentences produced by experts and 43 sentences from laypersons. The LOVE corpus comprises 567 sentences of expert language and 212 sen- tences from laypersons. As the biggest subcorpus, the SADNESS corpus in- volves 777 sentences taken from experts and 197 sentences coming from lay- persons.
Without additional technical devices, this corpus material was meticulously searched for metaphorical expressions concerning the target domains ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS. To get an idea of how important metaphors are in this particular discourse, the total of metaphorical expressions for each emotion was counted, yielding the absolute frequency of metaphorical language in the overall discourse. Next, each metaphorical expression was examined regard- ing the conceptual metaphor it instantiates. After identifying the conceptual metaphors that were used in the given discourse, it was assessed how often experts or laypersons use each single concept. This quantitative analysis is supposed to reveal the relative importance of the different metaphors in the conceptualization of the emotions ANGER, LOVE, and SADNESS for both, experts and laypersons. The results were then compared to draw conclusions
about differences in conceptualization between experts and laypersons.
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
First of all it was calculated how metaphorical the discourse is. All in all, the
2469 sentences of corpus data feature a total of 287 metaphorical expressions. That renders an average of 11.6% of the whole discourse metaphorical. In the comparison of experts against laypersons, the latter use slightly fewer meta- phors. About 10.2% of their sentences contain metaphorical expressions, as against 11.9% of the experts' sentences.
The results for each of the three emotions are even more interesting. The abso- lute frequency of metaphorical expressions used differs for the individual emotions (see table 1). The discourse about SADNESS is the least metaphori- cal. When talking about LOVE, experts as well as laypersons use slightly more metaphorical expressions. Yet, the most noticeable result is the one for AN-
Table 1: Frequency of metaphorical expressions in the whole discourse
Not only is ANGER the emotion displaying the highest frequency of meta- phorical expressions in relation to the entire discourse about that emotion. ANGER is also the only emotion for which the laypersons use more meta- phorical expressions than the experts. About 15.6% of the experts' discourse about ANGER is metaphorical, and with the laypersons it is even 20.9%. While in the laypersons' discourse about LOVE and SADNESS, not even every tenth sentence contains a metaphorical expression, even every fifth sentence does when talking about ANGER.
In a next step, each emotion was examined with respect to the conceptual metaphors that were used. For this purpose, the metaphorical expressions were analyzed as to whether they belong to a conceptual metaphor or not, leaving those one shot metaphors disregarded. The idea of conceptual meta- phors is that there are metaphorical expressions which can be grouped accord-
ing to their conceptual mappings. They differ from other metaphorical expres- sions because they share an underlying systematic. After assigning the meta- phorical expressions to the corresponding conceptual metaphors, we assessed how many different conceptual metaphors were used in the discourse. We then compared how often laypersons and experts use those different meta- phors. In the following, the most notable results for the three emotions will be presented, starting with ANGER, and ending with SADNESS.
Lakoff and Kövecses (1987a: 383) claim that ANGER IS THE HEAT OF A FLUID IN A CONTAINER is the central metaphor in the conceptualization of ANGER. This is primarily due to its numerous entailments (ibid.). Indeed, the language data of the experts seem to confirm this claim. Many of the meta- phorical expressions of the experts regarding ANGER can be seen as belong- ing to the conceptual metaphor ANGER IS THE HEAT OF A FLUID IN A CONTAINER. This is the concept experts use most frequently, as table 2 shows. 21% of all metaphorical expressions about ANGER which could be de- tected in the experts' data can be assigned to this metaphor. In the laypersons' data even 22.2% of all metaphorical expressions about ANGER pertain to this concept. ANGER IS THE HEAT OF A FLUID IN A CONTAINER suggests that the body of an angry person is the container for the emotion ANGER. Like a fluid in a container, ANGER can rise inside the body. Increasing ANGER re- sults in a rise of the fluid. In the expert data we find the following expressions illustrating this conceptual metaphor (the exact source of each linguistic ex- ample is provided in the appendix):
(1) “The next time you feel the anger starting to surge, take just a couple of seconds – or a few minutes or longer – to realize what is happening,…”
(2) “It seems clear that you are afraid that because of your anger building up inside, that you may 'hurt someone and, moreover, that you will like it'.”
To prevent the fluid from getting out of the container in an uncontrolled fash- ion, it can be suppressed, vented or channeled. If the fluid escapes the con- tainer, the person loses control over her ANGER as we can see in the next ex- ample:
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
(3) “Although your boyfriend is very supportive and is helping you to gain control during an outburst,…”
As a variation, the corpus also contains linguistic expressions which illustrate that ANGER can be conceptualized as something INSIDE A CONTAINER without necessarily being a FLUID or THE HEAT OF A FLUID. The following example taken from the experts' corpus demonstrates this:
(4) “To tuck it away deep down inside.”
We can see that ANGER is conceptualized as being inside the body CON- TAINER, yet THE HEAT OF A FLUID could not be “tucked away”, so AN- GER is obviously understood as something different.
Closely linked to the specific conceptualization of ANGER AS THE HEAT OF A FLUID is the more general conceptual metaphor ANGER IS HEAT. This third most frequent metaphor in the contributions of the experts is illustrated in the following examples:
(5) “…some people really are more 'hotheaded' than others are;”
(6) “Cooling off your anger is often a first step in dealing with conflict more effectively,…”
Both ANGER IS THE HEAT OF A FLUID IN A CONTAINER and ANGER IS HEAT reflect the physiological effects of ANGER. As Lakoff and Kövecses (1987a: 381) point out, most people perceive increased body heat and in- creased blood pressure as physiological effects of ANGER. Although experts and laypersons seem to use ANGER IS THE HEAT OF A FLUID IN A CON- TAINER almost equally often, the data of laypersons do not contain any metaphorical expressions which fit the metaphor ANGER IS HEAT. According to Lakoff and Kövecses, ANGER IS HEAT is the more general metaphor (ibid.). This means that ANGER IS THE HEAT OF A FLUID IN A CON- TAINER is a more specific form of ANGER IS HEAT. In both conceptual metaphors, HEAT is the source domain of ANGER. In one case HEAT is ap- plied to a FLUID. As the source domain of both metaphors is nearly the same, except that it is more specific in one case, we can say that experts conceptual- ize ANGER as HEAT more often than laypersons. About every third meta- phorical expression of the experts has HEAT as the source domain for AN-
GER, whereas only about every fifth of the laypersons has.
Another important metaphor drawn on by both experts and laypersons is ANGER IS A WEAPON. The following examples illustrate how experts apply this metaphor:
(7) “Thoughts that can trigger anger include personal assessments,…” (8) “You always have a target that your anger is directed against...”
(9) “…your anger can turn inward – on yourself.”
ANGER, like a weapon, can be triggered (7), and can be directed against some target (8). In example (9) the weapon can even be directed against oneself. In the data of the experts there are slightly more metaphorical expressions instan- tiating that concept than in the data of laypersons (compare table 2). All the concepts analyzed so far have in common that ANGER is seen as something dangerous. Yet, there is quite a difference between the first two metaphors and the third one. While we may not have that much influence on the heat as part of our physiological reactions, we do have control over a weapon and the tar- get it is directed against.
An alternative example of loss of control due to ANGER is the other most fre- quent metaphor found in the data of laypersons: ANGER IS INSANITY im- plies a loss of mental health. A person who has lost his or her mental health cannot function normally. This is mapped onto the emotion ANGER. Thus a person who is very angry has lost the ability to function normally (cf. Lakoff & Kövecses 1987a: 391). Laypersons use the following metaphorical expressions:
(10) “Why does he get so mad at us when he never does anything himself?”
(11) “She drives me crazy because she judges people before she knows them.”
Examples pertaining to ANGER IS INSANITY account for 22.2% of all of the laypersons' metaphorical expressions about ANGER, while experts use this metaphor by far less often. Only about 2% of their metaphorical expressions in regard to ANGER exemplify the model of ANGER IS INSANITY.
Experts on the other hand make use of the metaphor ANGER IS A COVER, which suggests that ANGER is neither dangerous nor making one lose control, but that the feeling may be hiding the real problem. The experts' corpus con- tains the following expressions:
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
(12) “Anger is nothing more than a cover for hurt, frustration or fear – or all three.”
(13) “…you might find that behind the anger are more pertinent feelings, such as disappointment, sadness, fear, and so on.”
These examples point out that ANGER is not the actual problem, but rather covering or hiding it. Interestingly, laypersons do not use this metaphor at all, while at least 4.8% of the metaphorical expressions of experts about ANGER belong to that concept. Experts obviously approach ANGER in a more analyti- cal fashion. Therefore they look beyond the effects of ANGER, trying to find the cause. Their knowledge about the human psyche seems to involve the no- tion that ANGER is an emotion which results from suppressing other emo- tions. Perhaps they use the metaphor ANGER IS A COVER to make layper- sons aware of this, in order to enable them to tackle the underlying problem. This conceptual metaphor is not derived from physiological effects of ANGER. Instead, it conceptualizes emotions as objects inside a container. These objects can be arranged in different ways. Depending on their actual position, some emotion objects can be hidden by others, as is indicated in examples (12) and (13).
THE HEAT OF A FLUID IN A CONTAINER
Table 2: Relative frequency of metaphorical expressions instantiating particular conceptual metaphors
According to the corpus evidence, LOVE, in contrast to ANGER, is not concep- tualized as something in a container. Whereas ANGER is understood as resid- ing in the human body, LOVE is conceptualized as forming a CONTAINER itself, which is outside the body. Instead of having the emotion inside us, we seem to move into the LOVE CONTAINER when we feel this emotion. A per- son stays there as long as the feeling is present, and moves out of the LOVE CONTAINER when they stop feeling this emotion. Kövecses (1990: 144-159) points out that the CONTAINER metaphor is an important concept in the field of emotions and that it works in two ways. The emotions are either conceptu- alized as a FLUID IN A CONTAINER, with the CONTAINER in most cases supplied by the human body, or as BEING A CONTAINER itself. Still, Kövecses neither refers to LOVE IS A CONTAINER when he establishes his ideal model of romantic love, nor does he mention this metaphor in what he calls the typical model of love (1988: 56-71). According to the analyzed data, though, LOVE IS A CONTAINER is one of the most important conceptual metaphors used. This is true for the discourse of both experts and laypersons. LOVE IS A CONTAINER is even the most frequent metaphor drawn on by the experts. As illustrated in table 3, almost every third metaphorical expression about LOVE detected in the data of experts instantiates this metaphor. In the data of laypersons, even 38.1% of all metaphorical expressions refer to LOVE AS A CONTAINER, although this still does not make it their most frequent metaphor. Expressions that represent this conceptual metaphor are for exam- ple the following:
(14) “We have been going out for three months now, but we fell in love after going out for three weeks.”
(15) “…but sadly when we're falling out of love, we often don't see it com- ing.”
(16) “People get so lost in love that they rarely see it coming”
Example (14) indicates that not only one person, but even two people can enter the LOVE CONTAINER, which means that they love each other. Accordingly, leaving the CONTAINER is understood as a cessation of the emotion as we can see in example (15). Another aspect of LOVE illustrated in example (14)
and (15) is the passive role ascribed to persons experiencing this passion. The
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
word fall indicates an unintended, accidental event, whereas Kövecses sug- gests in his typical model of LOVE the opposite. According to his model, the first step is searching for true love and the second is trying to control the emo- tion (1988: 67). Both steps are rather active and contradict the expression “fall in love”. A more specific version of the CONTAINER metaphor is indicated in example (16), where the CONTAINER seems to be a kind of labyrinth. Getting lost is a loss of orientation and control, which means that LOVE can interfere with our normal functioning.
Another CONTAINER metaphor for LOVE is proposed by Kövecses. He claims LOVE IS A FLUID IN A CONTAINER to be a conceptual metaphor of this emotion and gives examples like “She was overflowing with love” (2000:
26). In general, the CONTAINER image schema can be applied to many other emotions such as PRIDE, SADNESS, FEAR, or HAPPINESS (cf. Kövecses 2000:
20-30). The CONTAINER has a top and a bottom, which makes it possible to implement the metaphor MORE IS UP. These two metaphors work together, so that an increase in emotional intensity is conceptualized as a rise of the FLUID in the CONTAINER (cf. Kövecses 1990: 147). Accordingly, an empty CONTAINER indicates the absence of the emotion (ibid.). Interestingly, the metaphors LOVE IS A CONTAINER and LOVE IS A FLUID IN A CON- TAINER oppose each other. On the one hand, LOVE is depicted as some ex- ternal room or space which we can enter, leave or get lost in, on the other hand it is perceived of as something contained inside of us. Interesting though this theorizing may be, bringing in our corpus evidence yields the sobering effect that there is not a single metaphorical expression in our data instantiating the concept LOVE IS A FLUID IN A CONTAINER. Considering the high fre- quency of metaphorical expressions for ANGER implying that ANGER is con- ceptualized as a FLUID IN A CONTAINER, it seems that LOVE and ANGER are partially understood via opposing metaphors.
However, the data not only offer alterations in the conceptualizations of dif- ferent emotions, but also reveal a distinction between the metaphors for one emotion comparing experts and laypersons. The most frequent concept for LOVE employed by the laypersons in our corpus is the metaphor LOVE IS A UNITY OF PARTS. While 42.9% of the laypersons' entire metaphorical expres- sions for LOVE exemplify this conceptual metaphor, only 15% of the meta- phorical expressions of the experts about this emotion instantiate LOVE IS A
UNITY OF PARTS. Not only do laypersons use this conceptual metaphor al- most three times as often as experts, but LOVE IS A UNITY OF PARTS is re- flected in nearly every second metaphorical expression they utter about this emotion. In the data of the laypersons we find the following utterances:
(17) “Since then they moved in together and are inseparable.”
(18) “It just tore us apart as it was more out of spite than real love for the guy I lived with”
(19) “I don't ever want to lose him, he means the world to me, and without him I'd be broken.”
The examples show that the parts which form a whole correspond to the lov- ers in a relationship. In the ideal case they share the feeling of LOVE, probably to an equal degree, and live in a state of harmony (cf. Kövecses 1988: 56). Cor- respondingly, when this UNITY breaks apart, one of the lovers no longer loves the other one. Example (19) even indicates that the separate parts of the whole cannot exist independent of each other.
Still, when Kövecses refers to LOVE IS A UNITY OF TWO COMPLEMEN- TARY PARTS as the central metaphor of LOVE (cf. Kövecses 2000: 27), he is making a rather general assertion. The examined data, however, indicate a dif- ference in the conceptualization of LOVE between experts and laypersons. While the preferred metaphor of laypersons is LOVE IS A UNITY OF PARTS, the metaphors experts draw on appear less romantic.
One of the most frequent expert metaphors of LOVE reveals a view on LOVE which is quite the opposite of the perspective of LOVE that LOVE IS A UNITY OF PARTS displays. Instead of forming a harmonic whole, the lovers of the metaphor LOVE IS AN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE are rather business part- ners. This metaphor ranges in position three of the most frequent metaphors experts use about LOVE (compare table 3). More than every tenth metaphori- cal expression of the experts can be assigned to the conceptual metaphor LOVE IS AN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE. What is even more interesting is the fact that laypersons don't use this concept of LOVE at all. In the language data of laypersons not a single metaphor belonging to LOVE IS AN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE was found. Obviously, laypersons have a more romantic view of LOVE, while experts face this emotion rather matter of factly. They relate to LOVE with the following expressions:
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
(20) “Success, happiness, and the ability to give and receive love all hinge on our relationships.”
(21) “You wanted a lot more out of this relationship and now that it's gotten this far you figure it can only get better right?”
Example (20) illustrates that LOVE is a valuable commodity which can be ex- changed between the lovers. The lovers are supposed to give and receive this commodity to an equal extent. They also seem to expect a certain amount of LOVE from their partner, as example (21) indicates. If one of the lovers holds back a certain amount of LOVE, the romantic relationship is seen as not func- tioning properly.
As we have seen in the examples (17), (18) and (19), it can be dangerous to un- derstand LOVE AS A UNITY OF PARTS. To believe that one is only complete when forming a UNITY with someone else means that it is impossible to func- tion alone. This may be a reason for mental problems. The experts' use of the metaphor LOVE IS AN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE may be intended to help the laypersons to gain control over themselves again and overcome their emo- tional problem.
A UNITY OF PARTS
AN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE
Table 3: Relative frequency of metaphorical expressions instantiating particular conceptual metaphors; the three most frequent metaphors of experts about LOVE
When it comes to SADNESS, both experts and laypersons employ the same metaphor most frequently, yet there is a huge difference in their use of this metaphor. While about every third metaphorical expression of experts about SADNESS pertains to SADNESS IS DOWN, rendering this metaphor the most frequent one in the experts' data, laypersons relate to this concept even more
than twice as often. Of all the metaphorical expressions about SADNESS ap- plied by laypersons, about 81.3% belong to the conceptual metaphor SAD- NESS IS DOWN. They seem to draw on this concept almost exclusively. Con- sidering that the other metaphors that were found in the laypersons' data were used by a single person only, one could conclude that laypersons almost ex- clusively conceptualize SADNESS as DOWN. The metaphor SADNESS IS DOWN is closely linked to our physical experience while feeling this emotion. Lakoff and Johnson state that a “drooping posture typically goes along with sadness” (1980: 15). The downward oriented bodily posture is mapped to the emotional state, as examples taken from the laypersons' data demonstrate:
(22) “I am feeling kind of low right now.”
(23) “I have decided not to contact my ex because that gets me down as well.”
(24) “However, she's been getting quite depressed lately.”
The examples suggest that an increase of SADNESS is experienced as being physically nearer to the ground. One can be just low in one's physical position like in example (22), or even down on the ground as example (23) suggests. Additionally, this example (23) shows that another person is able to evoke feelings of SADNESS, which is conceptualized as pushing someone physically downward. In example (24), the lowest possible physical state is mapped onto the most intense feeling of SADNESS. Being depressed means being pressed down to the ground, which implies the impossibility of being in any lower po- sition.
Nevertheless, experts also draw on conceptual metaphors which are not closely linked to our spatial orientation (compare table 4). The second highest number of metaphorical expressions detected in the language data of the ex- perts can be assigned to the metaphor SADNESS IS A MOBILE ENTITY, which is evident in the following examples:
(25) “When sadness comes, we need to allow ourselves to feel it fully.”
(26) “So it is okay for her to wish her sadness will return, but instead of try- ing to WILL its return, it is more effective to INVITE it to return at its own leisure.”
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
These examples point out that SADNESS is personified as actively moving and coming to us human beings whenever it wants to. When SADNESS is present, we feel sad. In general this metaphor suggests that a person does not have much influence on the emotion SADNESS. As example (26) shows, one can wish that SADNESS may come or go and even invite the emotion, but in the end the decision is made by SADNESS itself. Considering that every fifth metaphorical expression for SADNESS in the experts' data can be assigned to the personification of SADNESS AS A MOBILE ENTITY, one may wonder why experts so frequently choose to conceptualize SADNESS as the active part and the person feeling sad as the passive part. Yet, it may be helpful for those who suffer from this emotion to be assured that it is not their fault, as SAD- NESS decides when to come to a person. Furthermore it is probably comfort- ing to know that SADNESS is not a permanent emotional state. It appears at some point, but it will also vanish again.
A quite different conceptualization of SADNESS is the personification of SADNESS AS AN ENEMY. More than every tenth metaphorical expression of experts about SADNESS pertains to this concept. We find the following ex- pressions:
(27) “When joy comes into our life we experience it freely, but when sadness or grief is present, we often struggle with them.”
(28) “First, it's not about trying to eliminate sadness or 'fix' it in some way.
The first step is to not back away from it, but really be aware of the sen- sations and thoughts that spin the feeling.”
In these examples, experts present SADNESS as an opponent to fight with and even eliminate. However, the interesting point about this concept is that al- though they use the metaphor SADNESS IS AN ENEMY, experts do not ad- vise laypersons to actually fight the emotion. Perhaps experts try to voice con- ceptualizations of SADNESS which they believe to be present in the minds of the laypersons. The data of the laypersons reveal that indeed none of them in- vokes the conceptual metaphor SADNESS IS AN ENEMY. Still, experts seem to assume that this is how they (unconsciously) understand the emotion. Ex- perts then attempt to reframe this conceptualization of SADNESS by suggest- ing to conceive of SADNESS as a friend (29), or to simply accept the presence
of SADNESS as a companion (30).
(29) ”So, (…) I propose embracing the sadness in our lives and sending love to ourselves.”
(30) ”In addition to accepting our sadness as a normal part of life, and al- lowing it to be present,…”
A MOBILE ENTITY
Table 4: Relative frequency of metaphorical expressions instantiating particular conceptual metaphors; the three most frequent metaphors of experts about SADNESS
3.4 The number of conceptual metaphors
So far, we have gone through those three emotions one by one, looking at some of the similarities and differences displayed by experts and laypersons in their use of particular conceptual metaphors. Another more general difference between experts and laypersons regarding the metaphors they use in dis- course about ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS is found in the overall number of concepts they employ. In general, experts use about twice as many different conceptual metaphors than laypersons do (compare table 5). The highest number of metaphorical concepts could be detected in the ANGER corpus: When talking about ANGER, experts relate to ten different conceptual meta- phors. In addition to those shown in table 2, we also find metaphorical expres- sions instantiating ANGER IS AN OBJECT IN A CONTAINER, ANGER IS AN EXPLOSIVE, ANGER IS A MOVABLE OBJECT, ANGER IS A VEHICLE, and
ANGER IS AN ENEMY.
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
For the emotion LOVE, both experts and laypersons draw on fewer conceptual metaphors. In addition to the metaphors listed in table 3, we find LOVE IS A MOBILE ENTITY, LOVE IS A JOURNEY, LOVE IS A MOVABLE OBJECT, THE OBJECT OF LOVE IS APPETIZING FOOD, LOVE IS A LIVING BEING, and LOVE IS INSANITY in the corpus. These concepts all highlight different aspects of the emotion and sometimes they even contradict each other.
The fewest different concepts were found in the SADNESS corpus. When talk- ing about SADNESS, laypersons only draw on three different conceptual me- taphors, while experts employ at least eight. In table 4 we have seen the most frequent conceptual metaphors of experts. Furthermore the experts' corpus contains metaphorical expressions instantiating the conceptual metaphors SADNESS IS A MOVABLE OBJECT, SADNESS IS A CONTAINER, SADNESS IS A SUBSTANCE, SADNESS IS A LIVING BEING, and SADNESS IS DARK- NESS.
Table 5: Number of different conceptual metaphors for each emotion
Applying a greater variety of different metaphors when talking about emo- tions obviously allows experts to shed light on the problematic issues from multiple angles, highlighting different aspects. Those troubled laypersons, on the other hand, seem to be rather limited in their perspective on each of the three troublesome emotions.
To summarize some of our general findings based on the corpus evidence: On the one hand, a higher number of different conceptual metaphors occurs in the experts' data. On the other hand, even where experts and laypersons share some of the conceptual metaphors about LOVE, ANGER and SADNESS, they
show marked differences in the frequency of metaphorical expressions instan-
tiating those concepts. The best explanation of these two facts seems to us that experts apply metaphors, consciously or unconsciously, in their attempt to support some kind of therapeutic reframing. Thus they will introduce alterna- tive metaphors in order to suggest to those individuals seeking their advice alternative ways of conceiving of emotions which pose personal problems.
Looking back at ANGER, laypersons conceptualize this emotion mostly as something involving a loss of control (ANGER IS INSANITY) or something dangerous (ANGER IS THE HEAT OF A FLUID IN A CONTAINER and AN- GER IS A WEAPON), whereas experts also apply the metaphor ANGER IS A COVER, which implies a rather analytical perspective on the emotion. They also use twice as many different concepts for ANGER, which suggests that they try to give laypersons more constructive perspectives on their ANGER.
Taking into account the metaphors for LOVE experts relate to, this becomes even more apparent. By far the strongest metaphor for LOVE detected in the laypersons' data was LOVE IS A UNITY OF PARTS. It is impossible for hu- man beings to form a real UNITY, and metaphorical expressions alluding to this metaphor are a rather romantic idea. It is likely that experts employ this metaphor far less often because they see the need of having some distance to the emotion in order to handle problems concerning LOVE. Strong evidence for the fact that experts try to convey a more matter of factly perspective on LOVE is the conceptual metaphor LOVE IS AN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE, which is completely absent in the laypersons' data. The other point is that lay- persons do not only conceptualize LOVE in a very romantic way, but also have a rather narrow view on the emotion. Their metaphorical expressions in- stantiate only four different conceptual metaphors, with more than 80% of these expressions belonging to the metaphors LOVE IS A CONTAINER and LOVE IS A UNITY OF PARTS. The distribution of metaphorical expressions of experts, in contrast, is more widespread. The two major concepts of laypersons are also important in the expert discourse, but here they do not even account for half of all metaphorical expressions used for LOVE. Instead, the experts draw on seven additional concepts to demonstate to laypersons other aspects of LOVE.
The greatest difference in the number of metaphors and distribution of meta- phorical expressions could be found in the SADNESS corpus. While layper- sons almost exclusively apply the metaphor SADNESS IS DOWN, experts use
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
quite different concepts such as SADNESS IS AN ENEMY, SADNESS IS A MOBILE ENTITY, or SADNESS IS A SUBSTANCE to relate to this emotion. Each conceptual metaphor highlights different alternatives to understand SADNESS. Whereas SADNESS IS DOWN gives only room for one way to solve the problem with SADNESS, the alternative concepts brought in by ex- perts allow for different strategies to overcome SADNESS. While understand- ing SADNESS as an ENEMY may incite the sad person to fight the emotion, personifying SADNESS as a FRIEND invites us to welcome the feeling at times; conceptualizing SADNESS as a MOVABLE OBJECT makes it possible to simply put it aside, and SADNESS IS A CONTAINER introduces the possibil- ity to enter and to leave the emotion whenever one wants to.
Although the corpus data have revealed important differences in the concep- tualization of ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS between experts and laypersons, some questions remain. Can those differences be ascribed to the different roles played by experts versus laypersons in the special genre of psychology guides? How influential is the fact that all the laypersons in the corpus data obviously experience some problem or difficulty with their emotions that makes them seek advice? Would less problem-ridden, happier laypersons produce different emotion metaphors than those advice-seeking individuals? Furthermore, as the investigated corpus consists of written discourse only – will laypersons and experts draw on different conceptual metaphors in spoken discourse? To find out if laypersons in spoken discourse employ metaphors for ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS diverging from those detected in the pre- sent corpus, another study was initiated in which guided interviews about the three emotions were conducted with laypersons, who were not seeking advice in these matters. The results will be due this summer (cf. Beger 2009).
From an Applied Cognitive Linguistics perspective, it would also be interest- ing to know if the laypersons actually adopt some of the perspectives on AN- GER, LOVE and SADNESS proposed by the conceptual metaphors introduced by the experts. To what extent do they understand the advice administered in the shape of conceptual metaphors in the first place? And will they actually internalize the constructive aspects highlighted by the experts, benefitting from this metaphorical reframing to modify their actual behavior? To see how useful conceptual metaphors can actually be as a therapeutical device, some
comprehensive long-term studies would have to be conducted.
5. Appendix: Sources of linguistic examples
(1)http://conflict911.com/guestconflict/torquedanger.htm (27.03.08) (2)http://www.teengrowth.com/index.cfm?action=info_advice&ID_Advice=
(4)http://conflict911.com/guestconflict/torquedanger.htm (27.03.08) (5)http://www.apa.org/topics/controlanger.html (12.04.08) (6)http://conflict911.com/guestconflict/torquedanger.htm (27.03.08) (7)http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=5804&cn=1
(9)http://www.apa.org/topics/controlanger.html (12.04.08) (10)http://www.teengrowth.com/index.cfm?action=info_advice&ID_Advice
(12)http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/224 (29.03.08) (13)http://www.guidetopsychology.com/anger.htm#8 (11.04.08) (14)http://www.links2love.com/advice_22.htm (26.03.08) (15)http://www.lovesickfools.com/articles/failing_relationship.html
(17) http://www.wayneandtamara.com/topicgrief.htm (31.03.08) (18)http://www.kissmegoodnight.com/dating-advice-and-tips/dating-get-
(19)http://www.lovingyou.com/content/advice/archive.php?M=04&D=24& Y=02 (25.03.08)
(20)http://www.helpguide.org/mental/improve_relationships.htm (22.04.08) (21)http://www.lovesickfools.com/articles/stale_relationships.html
Beger/Jäkel, ANGER, LOVE and SADNESS revisited
(22)http://www.itsteens.com/index.php?a=advice&t=read&id=935&PHPSES SID=0232465ff476c5acf7b126b3a7c9e1e2 (30.03.08)
(25) http://mind.skserver.org/2006/02/04/effectively-dealing-with-sadness/ (11.03.08)
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