The Routledge Handbook of Language and Emotion  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Emotion

ISBN 9781138718685
Published December 13, 2019 by Routledge
454 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Emotion offers a variety of critical theoretical and methodological perspectives that interrogate the ways in which ideas about and experiences of emotion are shaped by linguistic encounters, and vice versa. Taking an interdisciplinary approach which incorporates disciplines such as linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, psychology, communication studies, education, sociology, folklore, religious studies, and literature, this book:

  • explores and illustrates the relationship between language and emotion in the five key areas of language socialisation; culture, translation and transformation; poetry, pragmatics and power; the affective body-self; and emotion communities;
  • situates our present-day thinking about language and emotion by providing a historical and cultural overview of distinctions and moral values that have traditionally dominated Western thought relating to emotions and their management;
  • provides a unique insight into the multiple ways in which language incites emotion, and vice versa, especially in the context of culture.

With contributions from an international range of leading and emerging scholars in their fields, The Routledge Handbook of Language and Emotion is an indispensable resource for students and researchers who are interested in incorporating interdisciplinary perspectives on language and emotion into their work.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

Editor’s Introduction

    1. Perspectives on Emotion, Emotionality, and Language: Past and Present
    2. Part I. Emotion and Language Socialization

    3. Insights from Infancy: The Felt Basis of Language in Interpersonal Engagement
    4. Emotion and Affect in Language Socialization
    5. Unfolding Emotions: The Language and Socialization of Anger in Madagascar
    6. Part II. Language and Emotion: Culture, Translation, and Transformation

    7. Affect in the Circulation of Cultural Forms
    8. Emotion, Language, and Cultural Transformation
    9. Emotion in and Through Language Contraction
    10. Cultural Variations in Language and Emotion
    11. The Semantics of Emotion: From Theory to Empirical Analysis
    12. Part III. Language and Emotion: Poetry, Pragmatics and Power

    13. Language and Emotion: Paralinguistic and Performative Dimensions
    14. Poetry and Emotion: Poetic Communion, Ordeals of Language, Intimate Grammars, and Complex Remindings
    15. Language, Music, and Emotion in Lament Poetry: The Embodiment and Performativity of Emotions in Karelian Laments
    16. Expressing Emotion through Forms of Address in Colombian Spanish
    17. Emoji and the Expression of Emotion in Writing
    18. Emotion and Metalanguage
    19. Autism and Emotion: Situating Autistic Emotionality in Interactional, Sociocultural, and Political Contexts
    20. Vocal Affects and Mediated Communication
    21. Part IV. Language, Emotion, and the Affective Body-Self

    22. Language, Emotion, and the Body: Combining Linguistic and Biological Approaches to Interactions Between Romantic Partners
    23. Emotion in the Language of Prayer
    24. Emotion and Gender in Personal Narratives
    25. Part V. Emotion Communities

    26. Laughter, Joy, Sorrow, Stigma: The Making and Breaking of Sign Language Communities
    27. Becoming Blessed: Happiness and Faith in Pentecostal Discourse
    28. Learning Healing Relationality: Dynamics of Religion and Emotion
    29. Emotions and the Evolution of Human Auditory Language


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Sonya E. Pritzker is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alabama. She is a linguistic and medical anthropologist whose research investigates how both health and healthcare are mediated by interaction in multiple settings. She has published extensively on translation in Chinese medicine, psychology in China, and the communication of emotion in intimate relationships.

Janina Fenigsen is a sociocultural and linguistic anthropologist whose research and teaching interests include race, language policy, language contact and creolization, linguistic heritage, health promotion, neoliberalism, and semiotics of emotion. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Northern Arizona.

James M. Wilce is Emeritus Professor at Northern Arizona University. His research merges linguistic, psychological, and medical anthropology, and has included studies on lament in Bangladesh and Finland, and emotion pedagogies in Arizona. He is the author of many scholarly publications addressing language and emotion.


"This timely collection of original essays showcases innovative research that explores the multiplicity of ways emotion permeates verbal, nonverbal and visual communicative resources throughout the life cycle and across genres in often surprising ways. Drawing on a range of generative theoretical and methodological frameworks and investigating interdisciplinary connections, these intelligently curated essays highlight the centrality of systematically investigating situated practices and their linguistic and cultural ideologies as key to understanding commonalities and variations across persons, activities, and communities, and the sociohistorical, political, and interpersonal consequences of these patterns. Read them, and be inspired."

Bambi B Schieffelin, New York University, USA

"This Handbook brings together a wide range of cases, authors, and disciplinary approaches to a topic of great importance. The chapters variously consider major issues such as how the notions of "language" and "emotion" have been understood in different times and places, how they are bound up with norms and values, and how they are linked to conceptions of body, reason, self, and society. The collection’s many strong contributions outline the state of the art on this topic and make the volume an indispensable aid to scholars and students alike."

Judith Irvine, University of Michigan, USA

"The Routledge Handbook of Language and Emotion offers an impressive multitude of perspectives on the intersection of emotion, language, culture and self.  In this handbook, leading scholars from various strands of humanities and social sciences paint fascinating pictures of the historical, cultural and situational variation of emotional practices."

Anssi Peräkylä, University of Helsinki, Finland