The Emotion Concept of Joy in the English Linguaculture

 © The Editorial Council and Editorial Board of Linguistic Studies

Linguistic Studies
Volume 34, 2017, pp.  118-123

The Emotion Concept of Joy in the English Linguaculture

Olkhovych-Novosadyuk Mariya

Article first published online: December 20, 2017 


Additional information

 Author Information: 

Olkhovych-Novosadyuk Mariya, English lecturer of the Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of International Relations and a postgraduate student of the Department of General Linguistics at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. Correspondence: olkhovych28@gmail.com

Citation: 
Olkhovych-Novosadyuk, M. The Emotion Concept of Joy in the English Linguaculture [Text] // Linhvistychni Studiyi / Linguistic Studies : collection of scientific papers / Donetsk National University; Ed. by Anatoliy Zahnitko. Vinnytsia : Vasyl' Stus DonNU, 2017. Vol. 34. Pp. 118-123. ISBN 966-7277-88-7

Publication History:

Volume first published online: December 20, 2017
Article received: October 18, 2017, accepted: November 30, 2017 and first published online: December 20, 2017

Annotation.

Досліджено засоби вербалізації та структуру концепту РАДІСТЬ в англійській лінгвокультурі. На матеріалі аналізу системних даних мови (етимологічного, тлумачних, ідіоматичних словників, тезаурусів англійської мови) проаналізовано концепт РАДІСТЬ в англійській лінгвокультурі, шляхом створення когнітивної дефініції за методикою Єжи Бартмінського.

Keywords: emotion concepts, verbalization, conceptualization, emotional responses, cognitive structures of emotions, English linguaculture, the English worldview.



Abstract.

THE EMOTION CONCEPT OF JOY IN THE ENGLISH LINGUACULTURE

Mariya Olkhovych-Novosadyuk

Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of International Relations, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine

Abstract

Background: The concept can be viewed as a mental formation which possesses a specific cultural value and represents elements of the world for people in the course of reflection and communication. The relevance of the research is justified by the integrative cognitive-linguistic-cultural approach to the investigation of the structure and linguistic realization of the emotion concept JOY in the English linguaculture. It seems important and timely to research the conceptualisation and verbalisation of joy with a view to its affiliation to basic emotions and insufficient level of the research by domestic and foreign linguists. The study of concepts is valuable because it enables us not only to identify the culturally specific worldview of a certain lingual-cultural community and single out its national-cultural peculiarities, but also understand the word as a lexical unit in the context of culture, cognition, and communication.

Purpose: The article is aimed at explicating the etymological layer and the lexical means of the concept JOY in the English worldview presented in the English linguaculture. The author uses the method of cognitive definition suggested by Jerzy Bartmiński. The direct nominations of the lexeme joy, its synonyms, antonyms, metaphors, proverbs and sayings constitute the material of the study. 

Results: The article deals with the research of the means of verbalization and defines the structure of the concept JOY in the English linguaculture. The research has been conducted in the framework of the anthropocentric functional-cognitive paradigm and its object is the concept JOY actualized in the English linguaculture.

By analysing the systematic data material of the English language drawn from etymological, monolingual explanatory, idiomatic dictionaries and thesaurі, the etymology of the lexeme joy is described as well as its inner form is identified, and the lexical means are marked out.

Discussion: The analysis of approaches to studying emotions widely employed both in cognitive linguistics and cognitive pshychology shows the inextricable link between the cognition, emotions and language as interrelated component parts of the emotional and cognitive system “concience – perception – conceptualisation – categorisation – language – representation”. The complexity of the analysis of lexical meanings of emotions lies in the fact that the names of emotions can not be structured according to their internal features due to their continual pshychological nature, and therefore it is very difficult to discribe them.

Keywords: emotion concepts, verbalization, conceptualization, emotional responses, cognitive structures of emotions, English linguaculture, the English worldview.

 

Vitae

Mariya Olkhovych-Novosadyuk is an English lecturer of the Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of International Relations and a postgraduate student of the Department of General Linguistics at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. Her areas of research interests include cognitive linguistics, ethnolinguistics, psycholinguistics, information technology in teaching and learning foreign languages.

Correspondence: olkhovych28@gmail.com.


Article.

Марія Ольхович-Новосадюк

УДК  811.111.2'27'373.4:17.026.3

THE EMOTION CONCEPT OF JOY IN THE ENGLISH LINGUACULTURE

 

Досліджено засоби вербалізації та структуру концепту РАДІСТЬ в англійській лінгвокультурі. На матеріалі аналізу системних даних мови (етимологічного, тлумачних, ідіоматичних словників, тезаурусів англійської мови) проаналізовано концепт РАДІСТЬ в англійській лінгвокультурі, шляхом створення когнітивної дефініції за методикою Єжи Бартмінського.

Ключові слова: концепти емоцій, вербалізація, концептуалізація, емоційні реакції, когнітивно-емоційні структури, англійська лінгвокультура, мовна картина світу.

The concept JOY is considered to be a basic category of emotions and one of the key concepts in culture.The study of concepts is valuable because it enables us not only to identify the culturally specific worldview of a certain lingual-cultural community and single out its national and cultural peculiarities, but also understand the word as a lexical unit in the context of culture, cognition, and communication. Thus, the concept can be viewed as a mental formation which possesses a specific cultural value and represents elements of the world for people in the course of reflection and communication.

The article is aimed at explicating the etymological layer and the lexical means of the concept JOY in the English worldview presented in the English linguaculture. Conceptual analysis is considered to be the basic method of logical analysis of language and cognitive linguistics which involves modelling and description of concepts. The analysis of the concept JOY has been carried out by applying the method of cognitive definition suggested by Jerzy Bartmiński, which involves the analysis of means of its verbalization in the English worldview. The data is drawn from the most authoritative etymological, explanatory, idiomatic dictionaries and thesauri of the English language.

The relevance of the research is justified by the integrative cognitive-linguistic-cultural approach to the investigation of the structure and linguistic realization of the emotional concept JOY in the English linguaculture. It seems important and timely to research the conceptualisation and verbalisation of joy with a view to its affiliation to basic emotions and insufficient level of the research by domestic and foreign linguists whose attention was mainly focused on negative emotions while positive ones were almost neglected. Moreover, the complexity of the analysis of lexical meanings of emotions lies in the fact that the names of emotions can not be structured according to their internal features due to their continual pshychological nature, and therefore it is very difficult to discribe them.

The research has been conducted in the framework of the anthropocentric functional-cognitive paradigm in which the researchers’ attention has constantly been moving towards interdisciplinary synthesis. The requirements for further integration of linguistic, cognitive and psychological components of linguistic studies have highlighted the research of a human being as biocognitive-social system as well as examining his concience, thinking process and emotions embodied in language. 

The theoretical basis of the research include the ideas of cognitive semantics (Lakoff, Langacker, Talmy, Kövecses, Wierzbicka, Zhabotynska), cognitive ethnolinguistics (Bartmiński, Martinek), diachronic semantics and cognitive-sociolinguistic evolution (Sweetser, Geeraerts, Traugott & Dasher, Kleparski, Koch, Grygiel, Kiełtyka, Shevchenko).

Jerzy Bartmiński (2009/2012) argues that a key project for ethnolinguistics is to explicate the cultural knowledge encoded in certain layers of the vocabulary of a given language. Vocabulary, in his view, occupies a priviledged position in ethnolinguistic research, as it constitutes a classificatory network for the social experience of people speaking a given language. Bartmiński attaches special importance to the general patterns of conceptual organization of lexico-semantic fields, also he pays much attention to the semantic and cultural content of many individual words. A key analytic tool for the linguist is what he calls the “cognitive definition”: According to Bartmiński, a cognitive definition aims at representing socio-culturally established and linguistically entrenched knowledge, its categorization and valuation.

Recently, much research has been conducted in the field of cognitive linguistics in order to raise the understanding of how words change, transform their meanings, in particular with the application of prototype theory (Geeraerts 1997; Fernández Jaén 2007). According to this theory words are defined as lexical categories, which have a prototype structure comprised of all of its senses (Geeraerts 1997).  The major, core meaning of a lexeme is identified as prototypical and constitutes the epicenter of the structure while its other senses are located in the periphery (Carpenter, 2013). From this point of view, a semantic change occurs when one of the peripheral meanings becomes the prototypical one.

Cognitive semantics deals with investigating the relationships between experience, the conceptual system and the semantic structure encoded in a language. There is a number of theories in cognitive semantics such as Blending Theory, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Frame Semantics, Mental Space Theory, Theory of Lexical Concepts and Cognitive Models (LCCM Theory), Principled Polysemy and approaches to linguistic semantics such as cognitive lexical semantics and encyclopaedic semantics. The guiding principles of cognitive sematics are as follows: 1) Conceptual structure is embodied (the “embodied cognition thesis”; 2) Semantic structure is conceptual structure; 3) Meaning representation is encyclopedic; 4) Meaning construction is conceptualisation  (Evans, Green: 157-164).

Zoltán Kövecses, Professor of Linguistics in the Department of American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, suggests that the conceptual structure of joy / happiness can be usefully described in terms of four cognitive components: conceptual metaphors, conceptual metonymies, related concepts and cognitive/cultural models.

A set of correspondences between a more physical sourse domain and a more abstract target domain is meant by conceptual metaphor (Kövecses 132). Conceptual metonymies can be of two general types: CAUSE OF EMOTION FOR THE EMOTION and EFFECT OF EMOTION FOR THE EMOTION, with the latter being much more common than the former. Related concepts are emotions or attitudes that the subject of emotion has in relation to the object or cause of emotion. They include: feeling of satisfaction; feeling of pleasure; feeling of harmony (Kövecses 133).

Moreover, a collective wisdom and experience of any culture is laid down in knowledge structures, variously called as cognitive models, cultural models or folk models. Emotions are conceptually represented as cognitive models (Lakoff 1987). A particular emotion can be represented by means of one or several cognitive models that are prototypical of that emotion. This emerges from the Roschean idea that categories have a large number of members, one or some being prototypical and many of which being nonprototypical (Rosch 1978).

Prototypical cognitive models can be thought of as folk theories of particular emotions (Kövecses 134). The most schematic folk theory of emotions in general can be given as follows:

Cause of emotion → emotion → (controlling emotion →) response

This general folk theory of emotions derives from the application of the generic-level conceptual metaphor CAUSES ARE FORCES. The metaphor applies to both the first part and the second part of the model. In the model, whatever leads to an emotion is conceptualised as a cause that has enough force to effect a change of state, and the emotion itself is also seen as a cause that has a force to effect some kind of response (physiological, behavioural, and/or expressive). As a matter of fact, it is the presence and double application of this generic-level metaphor that enables a force-dynamic interpretation of emotional experience (Kövecses 135).

According to Kövecses, the general concept of JOY is best described as having three prototypical cognitive models and many nonprototypical ones clustering around the three prototypes. Thus, the three prototypes of JOY are: 1) JOY as an immediate response; 2) JOY as a value; 3) JOY as being glad (Kövecses 137-138).

In JOY / HAPPINESS as an immediate response a person responds with a form of happiness to a desired outcome. The form of happiness that is involved is commonly referred to as joy. The immediate response model is dominated by highly noticeable behavioural, physiological, and expressive responses and also by conceptual content that is provided by conceptual metaphors suggesting intensity and control, leading to a loss of control. JOY/HAPPINESS as a value is characterized by a quiet state with hardly any noticeable responses or even a clearly identifiable specific cause. JOY as being glad most commonly occurs as a mild positive emotional response to a state of affairs that is either not very important to somebody or whose positive outcome can be taken to be a matter of course. In such a situation, people do not produce highly visible responses and do not have to control themselves (Kövecses 139-140).

Anna Wierzbicka, Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the Australian National University in Canberra, in her book “Emotions Across Languages and Cultures: Diversity and Universals” brings psychological, anthropological and linguistic insights to bear on understanding of the way emotions are expressed and experienced in different cultures, languages and culturally shaped social relations. In particular, she analyzes some common English words which are linked with thoughts about “good things” and which imply “good feelings” such as joy, happy (happiness), contented, pleased and some others.

Wierzbicka states that joy is not a very common everyday word in modern English, and its frequency is much lower than that of the adjective happy. One could say that the concept of being happy has expanded in the history of English emotions, at the expense of joy. The reason for this is the overall process of the “dampening of the emotions”, the trend against emotional intensity, characteristic of modern Anglo emotional culture (cf. P. Stearns, 1994). At the same time, the remarkable expansion of the concept happy is consistent with the spread of the emotional culture of “positive thinking”, “optimism”, “cheerfulness”, “fun” etc. (Wierzbicka: 50).

Wierzbicka argues that the cognitive scenario of joy is much simpler than that of happy or happiness and the joy scenario consists of two crucial cognitive components – an evaluative one: “something very good is happening”, and a volitive one: “I want this to be happening”.

A full explication of joy follows:

Joy (X felt joy)

(a) X felt something because X thought something

(b) sometimes a person thinks:

(c)  “something very good is happening

(d) I want this to be happening”

(e) when this person thinks this the person feels something very good

(f) X felt something like this

(g) because X thought something like this

Thus, Wierzbicka points out one clear difference between happy and joy – it has to do with the personal character of the former (highlighted by expressions such as a pursuit of happiness, personal happiness), and the non-personal, “selfless” character of joy. Unlike being happy, joy can be shared with other people and can be seen as open to everyone (expressions like the joy of Christmas, the joy of knowledge). If joy implies that “something very good is happening”, happy implies that “some good things happened to me”. There is also the temporal dimention and the quantitative one. Unlike joy, being happy can be understood as a long-term state (as well as an emotion), and as an emotion, it can be seen as a more “settled” one than joy. In some ways, joy can be seen as more intense, more thrilling than being happy and more likely to be a short-term emotion (Wierzbicka: 50-54). 

The origin and etymology of JOY are described as Middle English, from Anglo-French joie, from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium, from gaudēre to rejoice; probably akin to Greek gēthein to rejoice.

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology the ethymological layer of JOY is formed by the meanings such as «feeling of pleasure and delight» (c. 1200), «source of pleasure or happiness» (c. 1300), from Old French joie «pleasure, delight, erotic pleasure, bliss, joyfulness» (11c.), from Latin gaudia «expressions of pleasure; sensual delight»plural of gaudium «joy, inward joy, gladness, delight; source of pleasure or delight,» from gaudere «rejoice,» from PIE root *gau- «to rejoice» (cognates: Greek gaio «I rejoice,» Middle Irish guaire «noble»). As a term of endearment it dates back to 1580s according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Thus, we can observe that the word JOY has undergone a substantial change in meaning in the English language since the early 13th century, when the word entered English for the first time.

The definitions of JOY have been compared and analyzed from 5 various dictionaries: 1) Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (OALD); 2) New Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus of the English Language (NWDTEL); 3) Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary and Thesaurus (CALDT); 4) Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (LDCE); 5) Collins English Dictionary (Collins Thesaurus) (CEDT).

All of the analysed dictionaries suggest the meaning of JOY as a feeling of great happiness and rank it first implying that this is the most frequently used meaning. In this meaning JOY is used as an uncountable noun.

The second definition of JOY also coincides in all the dictionaries: something or someone that gives/ causes joy / happiness. In this meaning JOY is a countable noun. However, NWDTEL suggests the more extensive definition: that which gives rise to this emotion, or on which the emotion centers.

The third meaning of JOY specified as British informal (usually with negative and taking –ing form of the verb) is listed by all the studied dictionaries except NWDTEL, and is discribed as success or satisfaction. The only difference is that CEDT ranks this meaning fourth, not the third and CALDT apart from the meaning success, also adds action or help.

Thus, these three meanings of JOY are stated in all the studied dictionaries and are the only ones in OALD, CALDT and LDCE, while there is one more meaning of JOY as the outward expression of the emotion / outward show of pleasure or delight suggested by NWDTEL and CEDT respectively. We can argue that most dictionaries do not provide this latter meaning only because it is de facto incorporated in the first core meaning “a feeling of great happiness”.

Moreover, one more definition of JOY is found in WNUUD and MWOD:  a state of happiness or felicity. 

The meaning of JOY as an intransitive verb is given by OALD, LDCE and CEDT: to rejoice / to be happy because of something / to feel joy. Finally, only CEDT suggests the obsolete, archaic meaning of JOY as a transitive verb: to make joyful; gladden.   

It is important to emphasize that according to LDCE joy is used especially in literature. In everyday English, rather than say they did something with joy, people usually say that they were (really) pleased / happy / glad to do it.

According to EW the derivatives of JOY include 6 adjectives: joyless, joyful, joyant, joyous, unjoyous, joysome; 3 adverbs: joylessly, joyfully, joyously; 12 nouns: joylessness, joyfulness, enjoyment, joyance, joyancy, joydom, joyment, joyousness, joyhood, joygasm, killjoy, joystick; 3 verbs: enjoy, overjoy, rejoice.

The common synonyms of JOY listed by all the dictionaries are: pleasure, happiness, delight. Moreover, all the dictionaries apart from LDCE suggest such synonyms as bliss, felicity and exultation and apart from CALDT elation.

In addition, the synonyms listed in the three out of five dictionaries are: euphoria, ecstasy, glee, gaiety, gladness, transport, rapture. Only two out of five dictionaries (OALD and CEDT) list the following synonyms: exhilaration, enjoyment, ebullience, gladness, exuberance, joyfulness, jubilation, radiance, triumph.  CALDT and NWDTEL have one more common synonym not mentioned in the others such as mirth. Finally, synonyms suggested only by a single dictionary or thesaurus are: delirium, gratification, satisfaction, rejoicing, savour, merriment, cheer, contentment, festivity, exhilaration, hilarity, ravishment.

Thus, the greatest number of synonyms of JOY is given by CEDT (total number is 27). On the second place goes OALD with 23 synonyms, on the third place ─ NWDTEL with 16 synonyms, and finally, CALDT with 9 synonyms. The least number of synonyms (6) is listed by LDCE.  

As antonyms are concerned, NWDTEL lists 5 antonyms of JOY: affliction, depression, despair, grief, wretchedness.  The other four dictionaries do not provide any antonyms. According to MWOD, the antonyms of joy iclude calamity, ill-being, sadness, unhappiness, and wretchendness. Also, the antonyms of JOY include infelicity, joylessness, sorrow, misery, melancholy, discouragement, mourning, woe according to RT.

OALD suggests the following idioms with JOY: full of the joys of spring (very cheerful); somebody’s pride and joy (a person or thing that causes somebody to feel great pleasure or satisfaction); dance / jump / shout for joy (ie because of feeling great joy).

NWDTEL does not provide any idioms. But MWOD gives the three idioms: jump for joy; pride and joy; shout for joy.

CALDT gives the four idioms with JOY: bundle of joy (meaning a baby); jump for joy (to be extremely happy); someone’s pride and joy (American English, a person or thing that gives someone great joy and satisfaction), be your pride and joy (to be something or someone that is very important to you and that gives you a lot of pleasure).

CEDT suggests the two idioms: to jump for joy; one’s pride and joy.

LDCE lists the idioms: jump for joy; somebody’s pride and joy; be transported with delight / joy or be in a transport of joy (to feel very strong emotions of pleasure, happiness etc); glow with  joy (to look very happy because you feel joyful); hug yourself with joy (British English to feel very pleased with yourself).

MGHDAIPV suggests some more idioms with JOY not mentioned above: burst with joy (to be full to the bursting point with happiness); leap for joy (jump for joy); weep for joy (to cry out of happiness), and a proverb: A thing of beauty is a joy forever (implying that beautiful things give pleasure that lasts even longer than the beautiful things themselves. This is a line from John Keats's poem "Endymion." Also, a thing of beauty and a joy forever, is used to describe something beautiful in lofty terms, often ironically. For example, Jill: I don't understand why someone would pay millions of dollars to have some old painting. Jane: Because a thing of beauty is a joy forever.  

While analysing the idioms with JOY, it is obvious that most of them deal with the expression of the emotion of joy and correlate with the most common meaning of joy as a feeling of great happiness actually implying the outward expression of the emotion. The following idioms can serve a vivid example: dance for joy; jump for joy; shout for joy; glow with joy; be in a transport of joy; hug yourself with joy. Thus, since emotions are triggered by an event (stimulus), they are expressed as a recognisable signature consisting of behavioral and physiological outputs that are coordinated in time and correlated in intensity (feeling, facial muscle movements, vocal acoustics, peripheral nervous system, behaviour). Presumably, these patterns allow people to know an emotion when they see it by merely looking at the structural features of the emoter’s face.

At the same time, the idioms pride and joy; bundle of joy (informal) illustrate the second basic meaning of joy as something or someone that gives/ causes joy / happiness, or on which the emotion centers. For example: Three days after the birth, Sandra took home her little bundle of joy.

Thus, in this paper the concept of JOY has been investigated in the English language and culture by analysing the language system on the basis of etymological, explanatory and idiomatic dictionaries and thesauri. The focus is made on the semantic peculiarities and specific features of the functioning of the lexeme JOY in the English linguaculture.

The definitions of JOY have been compared and analyzed from 5 the most authoritative dictionaries and thesauri of the English language. Thus, the meanings of JOY are as follows: 1) a feeling of great happiness; 2) something or someone that gives / causes joy / happiness; that which gives rise to this emotion, or on which the emotion centers; 3) success or satisfaction / action / help (British informal; usually with negative); 4) the outward expression of the emotion / outward show of pleasure or delight; 5) state of happiness or felicity. It is important to point out that JOY is used more often in literature than in modern spoken language. In everyday English, rather than say they did something with joy, people usually say that they were (really) pleased / happy / glad to do it.

In this paper we also provide and thoroughly analyze the derivatives, synonyms, antonyms and idioms of JOY.

To sum up, the lexeme JOY denotes the basic positive emotion that has rather non-personal, “selfless” character that means it can be shared with other people; JOY is seen as more intense feeling and more thrilling than happy, glad and more likely to be a short-term emotion. The general concept of JOY is best described as having three prototypical cognitive models and many nonprototypical ones clustering around the three prototypes: 1) JOY as an immediate response; 2) JOY as a value; 3) JOY as being glad.

Finally, having analyzed the lexicographical sources, it should be emphasized that the core of the concept JOY in the English languaculture is formed by the lexeme joy with its semantic features such as positive feeling / emotion, emotional state, cause of emotion, intensity, expression / outward show of emotion, success. The peripheral zone of the concept JOY includes the most frequently used synonyms and derivatives like pleasure, happiness, delight, enjoy, enjoyment, joyful, joyous.

The research is not complete in the framework of the method of cognitive definition. Further prospects of the research include getting and analyzing the results of free word association experiment as well as collecting and analyzing the data explicated from various textual discourses.

References. 

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List of Abbreviations

EW − English Wiktionary

CALDT − Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary and Thesaurus

CEDT − Collins English Dictionary (and Thesaurus)

OALDCE − Hornby, Albert Sydney, Jonathan Crowther. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English

LDCE − Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

MGHDAIPV − McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

MWOD − Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

NWDTEL− New Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus of the English Language

RT − Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus

WNUUD − Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary

 

Надійшла до редакції 18 жовтня 2017 року.