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date: 17 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter on language comprehension, emotion, and sociality presents a theory of language processing that goes beyond the usual focus on constructing representations of what is said and meant, and that explicitly models how such construction processes mesh with emotion. It starts by asking why research on the interface between language and emotion is relatively marginal in psycholinguistics, and subsequently reviews current ideas on the nature and function of emotion (covering short-lived emotions, evaluations, and mood). Next, it presents the Affective Language Comprehension or ALC model, a wide-scope processing model that combines insights from the psycholinguistics of word and sentence processing, the pragmatic analysis of communication, and emotion science. The model accommodates verbal and non-verbal (e.g. emoji) signing, and provides a principled take on word valence. By examining how linguistic and other signs actually move people, it also adds to our understanding of the relation between language and human sociality.

Keywords: emotion, psycholinguistics, word and sentence processing, discourse comprehension, inferential communication, non-verbal communication, perlocutionary effects, pragmatics, emotional language, word valence

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