Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 415–432 | Cite as

Exploring Emotive Verbs in Persian and English Short Stories: A Contrastive Sociopragmatic Approach

  • Keihaneh KarimiEmail author
  • Reza Biria


Current developments in the areas of discourse analysis and cross-cultural studies have led to an increased interest in the way people of different cultures express their affections on various occasions. Individuals learn how to regulate their emotional reactions according to sociocultural norms of behavior defined by the cultures to which they belong. Accordingly, this article aimed to investigate the linguistic expression of emotions in English and Persian short stories in order to fathom out the impact of culture on the way feelings are expressed cross-culturally. For this purpose, a corpus of eight different English and Persian short stories, four in each language, was selected based on a purposive sampling method. Then, using Devon’s (The origin of emotions, 2006) typology of emotions, different types of emotive verbs were selected as the unit of analysis. Finally, the frequency and percentage values of emotive verb tokens used in these stories were carefully tabulated in terms of types and their respective metalinguistic categories introduced by Wierzbicka (Emotions across languages and cultures: diversity and universals, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999). The results obtained from the analysis of the targeted corpora reflected that English and Persian writers employ different types of emotive verbs in expressing their feelings. Essentially, the findings of the present study may have important implications for language teachers, material developers, and course designers.


Emotive verbs Short stories Sociocultural norms Types of emotion Metalinguistic categories of emotion Cross cultural studies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English LanguageAmin Institute of Higher Education (Fooladshahr)IsfahanIran
  2. 2.Department of English languageIslamic Azad University (Isfahan)IsfahanIran

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