A corpus-based approach to emotion metaphors in Korean: A case study of anger, happiness, and sadness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The major goal of this study is to investigate conceptual emotion metaphors of Korean, particularly those of ANGER, HAPPINESS, and SADNESS, by utilizing a corpus-based analysis. The universality of conceptual metaphors continues to be a controversial topic in cognitive linguistics and thus, more cross-linguistic and language-specific studies are needed to support the theoretical framework of the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT). To this end, the current study identifies and examines Korean metaphorical expressions through a conceptual analysis, supported by both quantitative and qualitative methods, and aims to find out the types of concepts with which ANGER, HAPPINESS, and SADNESS are associated, and thus, to what extent these associations comprise primary (universal) and complex (cultural) metaphors, as suggested by the current view of the CMT. I argue that while it is important to distinguish between universal and cultural metaphors, the hierarchical mapping of variation also describes the characteristics of a language vis-a-vis universality or cultural specificity. Furthermore, I claim that the characteristics of metaphorical expressions should also be determined based on analysis of their occurrences in language use. The data suggest a positive correlation between frequency and productivity. Understanding the frequency and productivity of emotion metaphors through analysis of their occurrence in actual language use will allow better understanding and provide a basis for further investigation of native speakers' cognitive styles and cognitive tendencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-144
Number of pages72
JournalReview of Cognitive Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Anger
  • Conceptual metaphor
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Emotion
  • English
  • Happiness
  • Korean
  • Metaphor
  • Metonymy
  • Sadness
  • Submetaphor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'A corpus-based approach to emotion metaphors in Korean: A case study of anger, happiness, and sadness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this