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Conference Information



Full Title: Communicating Emotion in a Foreign Language: Advantages and Disadvantages of the Detachment Effect

      
Short Title: S022, AILA 2020
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
Start Date: 09-Aug-2020 - 14-Aug-2020
Contact: Jean-Marc Dewaele
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: https://www.aila2020.nl/call-for-papers
Meeting Description: The powerful associations formed between an L1 and early memories, sensations and emotions (Harris et al, 2006; Pavlenko, 2012) are often lacking in a foreign language (LX). Even ‘balanced’ multilinguals tend to report a preference for their first language (L1) when verbalising emotion and for emotional inner speech (Dewaele, 2015). Indeed, emotional expression appears to be a key driver for code-switching in multilinguals (Dewaele, 2013). Empirical research also shows that multilinguals have different physiological responses to emotional stimuli in different languages (Harris et al, 2003). However, the LX detachment effect can also help speakers to regulate uncomfortable emotions (Bond & Lai, 1986).

The emotionality of an LX has implications for various domains where accuracy in expression and perception is crucial. These range from romantic relationships (Dewaele & Salomidou, 2017) to health care settings. In particular, emotional detachment of the LX can hinder or facilitate psychotherapeutic work depending on the situation (Buxbaum, 1949; Marcos, 1976; Rolland et al, 2017). The symposium will contrast the advantages (e.g. the disclosure of painful memories or the expression of feelings which are taboo in an L1) and disadvantages (muting the speaker’s emotion and hindering authenticity) of the detachment effect in order to appreciate its complexities.
Linguistic Subfield: Applied Linguistics
This is a session of the following meeting:
World Congress of Applied Linguistics

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