The concept of "complex emotions" is obviously polysemous. On the one
hand, we can interpret it as a non-basic, non-prototypical, or culture-specific
notion, on the other - and this is the interpretation we propose in this work - a
complex emotion concept can be looked upon as a concept whose
complexity "emerges" in interaction, due to the complex nature of its "object".
Our interpretation is thus "construction-based", one in which meaning is not
to be found exclusively in the lexical semantics of the term, but also in the,
clearly meaning-laden, grammatical construction, e.g. a complement clause,
expressing the object or cause of the emotion. The "construal of a scene"
mapped on the form of a complex sentence involves the emotion that is
unambiguously complex and not necessarily universal or prototypical. We
argue throughout this book that "cross-linguistic grammatical mismatches"
are a visible sign of conceptual and categorizational distinctions between the
conceptualization of emotion in different languages and cultures. They also
signal differences in what individual speakers consider "salient" in a portrayed
We offer a contrastive corpus-based study of Polish and English emotion
concepts and the linguistic patterns they enter. Our theoretical approach
combines lexical semantics and cognitive linguistics and proposes a
"cognitive corpus linguistics" methodology. It is a cognitive linguistic
endeavor in which we analyze grammatical category mismatches and provide
detailed semantic analyses of different complement choices of emotion
predicates. We also discuss insights into Polish and English cultural values
gleaned from the different underlying categorizations of emotions.
Combining theoretical analyses with pedagogical theory and classroom
applications, this work breaks new ground and will reach audiences of
linguists, teachers and students of Polish, teachers and students of English,
translators, and other language researchers and practitioners.