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Language, Heart, and Mind

Studies at the intersection of emotion and cognition

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Edited By Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, Valeria Monello and Marco Venuti

A major premise of this book is that language use is critically conditioned by affective content and cognitive factors rather than being a case of objective computation and manipulation of structures. The 21 chapters of this book deals with how language interacts with emotion, and with mind and cognition, from both intralingual and cross-linguistic perspectives. The second major focus is the theoretical framework, best-suited for research relationships between language, cognition, and emotion as well as the effect that emotion has on the conceptualizer who constructs meanings based on language stimuli. Furthermore, the authors investigate how emotion and rational projections of events interact and what their consequences are in the conceptual world, media discourse, and translation.

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20. Neither Soul Food, nor Slave Food Made You Fat: Passion and Affection in Soul Food Discourse (Valeria Monello and Francesca Vigo)

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Valeria Monello and Francesca Vigo

Abstract Nowadays, food is probably living an unprecedented fame. Accordingly, discourse on food is equally popular. Studies on food discourse increase, mostly aiming at describing its features (Barthes, 2008; Cook, 2004; Frye & Bruner, 2012, Cramer, Greene & Walters, 2011; Lupton, 1996; Parkhurst Ferguson, 2014) or exploiting it within the more general feminist approach to analysing food and food-related-jobs (Avakian, 2014; Friedan, 1997; Harris & Giuffre, 2015, among others). Linguistically, research on food discourse mainly exploits the analytical tools provided by Discourse Analysis. Conversely, seldom has the role of affection been considered. In this paper we investigate the role of the affective framing in the analysis of the discourse concerning a special kind of food: soul food. The affective framing stems from the well known framing theory as devised by Bateson (1972), Goffman (1974), Lakoff (2001) and Wendland (2010) to mention but a few. Drawing on Van der Sluis & Mellish’s techniques (2008), we try to verify whether the articles deploy such strategies to conjure up passion and affection in the readership, or, rather, other kinds of textual cues can prove more effective.

Keywords: Soul food, Affective framing, African American culture, Frames, Emotions, Ebony, Essence

In 1989 Ochs and Schieffelin wrote the following abstract to open their article in which they presented a “general framework for understanding affect in language” (p. 7):

In the past several years, the social sciences have been articulating how emotion impacts cognition...

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