[Lingtyp] Grammaticalised emotional states

Ponrawee Prasertsom ponrawee.pra at gmail.com
Mon Mar 6 08:29:18 UTC 2023

Dear typologists,

There has been claims in the literature (Cinque, 2013) that (at least some)
speakers' emotional states toward a situation such as "fear" and "worry"
are not grammatically encoded in any language, where "grammatically
encoded" means not encoded by closed-class items ("closed-class" in a
morphosyntactic sense: a group of morphemes that occur in the same slot
that do not easily admit new items and/or have few members).

I am interested in examples of any grammaticalized marker for any emotional
states (not necessarily "fear" and "worry"). I am interested in both
markers of 1) the *speaker*'s emotional states toward the situation being
expressed as well as 2) of the *subject*'s emotional states toward the
situation. The class of the item could be bound (clitics, affixes) or free
(particles, auxiliary verbs) as long as it could be shown to be (somewhat)
closed. I am only interested in markers specialised for specific emotions,
and not, e.g., impoliteness markers that could be used when the speaker is

The "(un)happy about the verb" infixes *-ei*- and -*äng-* from the
constructed language Na'vi would be the paradigm example of what I am
looking for if they actually existed in a natural language.

A potential example is Japanese *-yagatte, *which some have told me have
grammaticalised into an affix encoding anger about the action. I'm also
looking into whether there is evidence that this is actually part of a
closed-class and would appreciate any pointers/more information.

Thank you very much in advance.

Best regards,
Ponrawee Prasertsom

PhD student
Centre for Language Evolution
University of Edinburgh

Cinque, G. (2013). Cognition, universal grammar, and typological
generalizations. Lingua, 130, 50–65.
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