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(E)motion in the XVIIth century: a closer look at the changing semantics of the French verbs émouvoir and mouvoir

Annelies Bloem (UGent)
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Organization
Abstract
According to Geeraerts and Grondelaers (1995: 176), “the medieval physiological-psychological theory of the four humors and the four temperaments has left its traces on our emotional vocabulary”. In this study, we would like to go a step further by showing how the changing conceptualisation in the era of Descartes also influenced our emotional lexicon. The XVIIth century can be considered as a key moment in the origin of modern emotive consciousness (see Bloem 2008). For instance, from this period on, the term émotion is used more frequently in a rather abstract sense in stead of the “mouvements de l’ame”, which was commonly used until then in order to refer to emotional changes. In our analysis, we confront the semantic and syntactic profile of the verbs émouvoir and mouvoir in order to study their uses within the XVIIth century. Therefore, the attested occurrences are analysed in a semasiological way, inspired by Geeraerts’ (1997) prototype semantics. I especially peruse some encyclopaedic treaties like for instance Le tableau des passions humaines (1620), Les charactères des passions (1640), De l’usage des passions (1642) and Les passions de l’âme (1649). These works provide us with very important testimonies regarding the changing conceptualisation of emotions. In other words, I examine the evolution of émouvoir and mouvoir within reflections about the nature of emotions in order to demonstrate the close connection between culture and lexicon (see also Kövesces 2005; Gevaert 2005).

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Chicago
Bloem, Annelies. 2012. “(E)motion in the XVIIth Century: a Closer Look at the Changing Semantics of the French Verbs Émouvoir and Mouvoir.” In Moving Ourselves, Moving Others : Motion and Emotion in Intersubjectivity, Consciousness and Language, ed. Ad Foolen, Ulrike Lüdtke, Timothy Racine, and Jordan Zlatev , 407–422. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Benjamins.
APA
Bloem, A. (2012). (E)motion in the XVIIth century: a closer look at the changing semantics of the French verbs émouvoir and mouvoir. In A. Foolen, U. Lüdtke, T. Racine, & J. Zlatev (Eds.), Moving ourselves, moving others : motion and emotion in intersubjectivity, consciousness and language (pp. 407–422). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Benjamins.
Vancouver
1.
Bloem A. (E)motion in the XVIIth century: a closer look at the changing semantics of the French verbs émouvoir and mouvoir. In: Foolen A, Lüdtke U, Racine T, Zlatev J, editors. Moving ourselves, moving others : motion and emotion in intersubjectivity, consciousness and language. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Benjamins; 2012. p. 407–22.
MLA
Bloem, Annelies. “(E)motion in the XVIIth Century: a Closer Look at the Changing Semantics of the French Verbs Émouvoir and Mouvoir.” Moving Ourselves, Moving Others : Motion and Emotion in Intersubjectivity, Consciousness and Language. Ed. Ad Foolen et al. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Benjamins, 2012. 407–422. Print.
@incollection{1028623,
  abstract     = {According to Geeraerts and Grondelaers (1995: 176), “the medieval physiological-psychological theory of the four humors and the four temperaments has left its traces on our emotional vocabulary”. In this study, we would like to go a step further by showing how the changing conceptualisation in the era of Descartes also influenced our emotional lexicon. The XVIIth century can be considered as a key moment in the origin of modern emotive consciousness (see Bloem 2008). For instance, from this period on, the term émotion is used more frequently in a rather abstract sense in stead of the “mouvements de l’ame”, which was commonly used until then in order to refer to emotional changes. In our analysis, we confront the semantic and syntactic profile of the verbs émouvoir and mouvoir in order to study their uses within the XVIIth century. Therefore, the attested occurrences are analysed in a semasiological way, inspired by Geeraerts’ (1997) prototype semantics. I especially peruse some encyclopaedic treaties like for instance Le tableau des passions humaines (1620), Les charactères des passions (1640), De l’usage des passions (1642) and Les passions de l’âme (1649). These works provide us with very important testimonies regarding the changing conceptualisation of emotions. In other words, I examine the evolution of émouvoir and mouvoir within reflections about the nature of emotions in order to demonstrate the close connection between culture and lexicon (see also Kövesces 2005; Gevaert 2005).},
  author       = {Bloem, Annelies},
  booktitle    = {Moving ourselves, moving others : motion and emotion in intersubjectivity, consciousness and language},
  editor       = {Foolen, Ad and Lüdtke, Ulrike and Racine, Timothy and Zlatev , Jordan},
  isbn         = {9789027241566},
  issn         = {1566-5836},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {407--422},
  publisher    = {Benjamins},
  series       = {Consciousness & Emotion},
  title        = {(E)motion in the XVIIth century: a closer look at the changing semantics of the French verbs émouvoir and mouvoir},
  year         = {2012},
}