On emotions and on definitions: A response to Izard

Anna Wierzbicka*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    This commentary argues that the question of metalanguage is a key issue in emotion research. Izard (2010) ignores this issue (and all the earlier literature relating to it, including the debate in Emotion Review, 2009, 1[1]), and thus falls into the old traps of circularity, obscurity, and ethnocentrism. This commentary rejects Izard's claim that "emotion" defies definition, and it offers a viable definition of "emotion" formulated in simple and universal human concepts, using the English version of the universal conceptual lingua franca called Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM). Once again, this commentary draws attention to the centrality of the question of language in emotion research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)379-380
    Number of pages2
    JournalEmotion Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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