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Human Emotions: Universal or Culture-Specific?

Anna Wierzbicka
American Anthropologist
New Series, Vol. 88, No. 3 (Sep., 1986), pp. 584-594
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/679478
Page Count: 11
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Human Emotions: Universal or Culture-Specific?
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Abstract

The search for "fundamental human emotions" has been seriously impeded by the absence of a culture-independent semantic metalanguage. The author proposes a metalanguage based on a postulated set of universal semantic primitives, and shows how language-specific meanings of emotion terms can be captured and how rigorous cross-cultural comparisons of emotion terms can be achieved.

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