Skip to main content

14th December 2022: Francisco Javier Minaya Gómez

14th December 2022 (Week 11 of term): Francisco Javier Minaya Gómez, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain (In-person seminar)

Title: Words of Wonder: The cognitive and semantic dimension of the literal and figurative denominators  for wonder in Old English sources

Based on the most recent research on emotion and, specifically, on contemporary aesthetic emotion theories, and combining methods from cognitive and historical linguistics, this paper aims at looking into the cognitive and semantic dimension of Old English literal and figurative denominators of wonder. Exploring how these terms are used in the Old English corpus, this paper highlights a recurrent use of literal emotion terms for wonder with varying semantics, and a wide array of figurative expressions that rely on the most common action tendencies and somatic profiles that are attributed to this emotion. This research stresses the rich variety that Old English authors had at their disposal when describing wonder-experiences and the many ways in which these authors described and narrated these emotional experiences, all of which, in extreme, reveals important information about the semantic dimension of these terms and identifiable patterns of conceptualisation for this emotion.