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Title: A crosslinguistic investigation into the foreign language learning of (non) equivalent emotion words : the case of Kuwaiti learners of English
Author: Tifooni, Saba
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 5873
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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Can the learning of another language influence the way we interpret and describe emotional situations? Following previous research on emotions and crosslinguistic influence (Jarvis & Pavlenko 2010; Pavlenko 2002b; 2008d; 2014; Pavlenko & Driagina 2007), this thesis examines whether the learning of emotion words in English as a foreign language (L2) can influence the way Arabic speaking learners interpret emotions when there are no translation equivalents for a given emotional concept in their first language (L1). By examining English language learners from different foreign language learning contexts in Kuwait, i.e. immersion and non-immersion, this thesis examines whether the learning of another language might affect their lexical choices when describing the same emotional situation in their L1 Arabic. It also examines whether or not possible differences in their identification and expression of emotion in the two different languages can be attributed to crosslinguistic influence. This study focuses on the emotion words excitement/excited/exciting and frustration/frustrated/frustrating, as these emotions depicted by these English emotion words differ in the way they are encoded and conceptualized both in meaning and in emotional weight in Arabic. The study adopts multiple methodologies such as narrative elicitation via film recall as well as one-on-one interviews to supplement the data. The data revealed evidence of L2 influence on the types of emotion words used in the L1, as well as an L2 influence on the L1 descriptions of emotional states in the immersion learners' data. There was also an influence of the L1 on the use of L2 emotion words and descriptions of emotional states in the nonimmersion learners' data. The results suggest that foreign language immersion contexts can facilitate the internalization of L2 conceptual emotion categories in nonequivalent and partially equivalent L2 emotion words.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral