Metaphors of emotions: towards a data-driven formalization
Keywords:artificial intelligence, cognitive linguistics, formal representation of metaphors, human emotion, intensional definition, ontology, schema
Formalization of natural language metaphors is a notorious problem in artificial intelligence and in other overlapping domains. It is semantic vagueness that makes metaphors resistant to formulaic or algorithmic descriptions. Great effort has been invested into modeling metaphors computationally but the issue remains methodologically uncertain and needs further research. This paper works on a practical solution to the problem how metaphorical meaning can be represented in a way suitable for computation. The research agenda of this paper is interdisciplinary; it brings together an algebraic heuristic-driven theory for metaphors developed in artificial intelligence and an applied theory of meaning that comes from cognitive linguistics. This agenda postpones theoretical speculation and argument and is solely solution-focused, which contributes to the value of this paper’s attempt to bridge the cognitive science disciplines whose compatibility, though declared, is seldom
demonstrated in a piece of practical research.
This paper works with metaphors of human emotions that are linguistically manifested in modern English discourse. Emotions by virtue of their ineffability as qualia are rich in metaphorical conceptualizations and serve the research agenda well. This paper in a meaningful way exposes and ranks designated properties of the FEAR, SADNESS, HAPPINESS, and RELAXATION/SERENITY concepts and arranges these properties into general-purpose ontologies that explicitly specify metaphorically preferred emotion conceptualizations and are good candidates for computation. In prospect, this paper will account for some theoretical aspects of the research and probe the algorithmic and repetitive nature of schemas that license metaphorical expressions in natural language.
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