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Book Sections Year : 2014

Emotions: Various "Language-Games" which open the Door to Grammar.



The aim of this paper is to point out that the semantic analysis of the language of emotions contibuted from the thirties onwards to the emergence of analytic philosophy. Based on Wittgenstein's thought that fuelled this return to the observation of ordinary language, this study shows that the specificity of his approach was to examine the expression of emotions through their learning in order to undermine the idea that the use of emotional terms and utterances would allow us to perform acts of reference, to describe a mental state or to inform another of what we feel. Furthermore, this analysis aims at highlighting that the expression of each kind of emotion (exclamation, fear, pain, etc.) is governed by different grammatical rules, so that the structure of emotional language has to be thought of as being composed of various language-games which, while finding their common origine in our form of life, are nevertheless only related by their family resemblance. By thus focusing on the singularity of grammatical rules, the paradigm of emotions contributes not only to establishing the fundamental concepts of a new approach to meaning, but authorizes the affirmation of the primacy of Grammar as being the place in which the meaning is "prepared" by constraining the possibilities of word uses.
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halshs-01195867 , version 1 (08-09-2015)


  • HAL Id : halshs-01195867 , version 1


Béatrice Godart-Wendling. Emotions: Various "Language-Games" which open the Door to Grammar.. Linguistic Approaches to Emotions in Context, John Benjamins, pp.21-36, 2014, 9789027256461. ⟨halshs-01195867⟩
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