The Narrative Lyric (NARLYR) explores mainly Greek (ancient and modern), English, and Spanish poetry to understand how some basic emotions, such as love, anger, fear, or hate, are integrated with schematic narratives grounded on embodied cognition. This process gives rise to a wide range of products of the imagination, and to a great variety of meanings and forms, all conceiving basic emotional situations and relationships as small spatial events at the scale of a human body. The methodology combines conceptual blending, image schemata, and other analytic tools from cognitive science and linguistics, with more traditional approaches from semiotics, poetics, and classical rhetoric. The main methodological hypothesis is that Fauconnier and Turner’s Conceptual Blending Theory can be productively employed in a systematic contrastive study of the figurative language of emotions, both in poetry and in other usages. In order to model recurrent imaginative patterns, NARLYR proposes generic structures of conceptual integration that build abstract networks capable to analyze a wide variety of examples, ranging from poetic imagery to other artistic manifestations, rituals, religious symbols, or everyday communication. The results expected should challenge the extended conception of the lyric as a non-narrative expression of feelings. As a cognitive poetics enterprise, NARLYR also employs empirical methods to explain literary production and reception in relation with human cognition, and to extend the model from the literary study so that it can contribute to the understanding of emotion language, along with related aspects in communication and art. The fellow will collaborate with leading groups of cognitive scientists, linguists and literary scholars in the US and Spain, under the supervision of Mark Turner, co-author of Conceptual Blending Theory.
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