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(Gladkova 2010)

Sympathy, Compassion, and Empathy in English and Russian: A Linguistic and Cultural Analysis

Anna Gladkova
May 25, 2010
"In this corpus-based study I contribute to the description and analysis of linguistic and cultural variation in the conceptualization of sympathy , compassion, and empathy. On the basis of a contrastive semantic analysis of sympathy, compassion, and empathy in English and their Russian translational equivalents, sočuvstvie , sostradanie, and sopereživanie, I demonstrate significant differences in the conceptualization of these words, which I explain by reference to the prevalence of different models of social interaction in Anglo and Russian cultures, as well as different cultural attitudes towards emotional expression. As a methodology I apply the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM), which is based on empirically established lexical and grammatical universals, and argue that it is a powerful tool in contrastive studies."