Bilingualism: Language and Cognition

Peer Commentaries

Dynamic emotion concepts of L2 learners and L2 users: A Second Language Acquisition perspective

JEAN-MARC DEWAELEa1

a1 Department of Applied Linguistics, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD, UK j.dewaele@bbk.ac.uk

Pavlenko's keynote paper calls for a rethinking of models of the mental lexicon in the light of recent research into emotion and bilingualism. The author makes a convincing case for the inclusion of affective aspects in the study of the mental lexicon. Indeed, the knowledge of the degree of emotionality of a word and of its affective valence is just as important as the knowledge of that word's grammatical class, or its gender. From a pragmatic point of view, one could argue that an L2 user's inaccurate or incomplete understanding of the emotionality and valence of an emotion word, or an emotion-laden word, in the L2 might lead to unwanted illocutionary effects, which might be far more embarrassing than phonological, morphological or syntactical errors.

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