Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

A Study on Emotional Valences of Negative and Positive Passive Sentences in Japanese

Kimiko Yorozuya, Hokkaido University (Japan)


This is a preliminary study which investigated emotional valences of the passive sentences in the Japanese language. Emotional valences range from negative to positive. The study purports to provide basic information for selecting and ordering passive sentences with negative or positive emotional valences. The test instrument included 16 passive sentences describing potential damages or annoyance for the speaker encountered in daily life, and another set of 16 passive sentences describing potential benefits for the speaker encountered in daily life. The subjects were 120 Japanese university students. This study adopted a measuring instrument called Visual Analogue Scale(VAS), which can measure subtler emotional values. The subjects responded by marking a vertical line on a continuous line between two end-points of positive and negative emotions. The results showed that among the passive sentences with negative valences the ones that signified stronger pain or anxiety ranked higher, whereas the ones that signified weaker pain or anxiety ranked lower. Among the sentences with positive valences the ones that signified direct benefits concerning safety ranked the higher. The results have implications for selecting and sorting passive sentences with various emotional valences.

Keywords: Emotional valence, passive sentences, Visual Language Scale (VAS)

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