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Keynote: Positive Experiential Cartography



From one perspective, linguistic systems are maps that enable people to appraise and navigate their experiential world. However, languages map the world in different ways, generating variation in the way people experience and conceptualise life. These differences are revealed most starkly by so-called ‘untranslatable’ words, i.e., which lack an exact translation in another language. This talk will argue that, from a psychological perspective, such words are very useful, as they denote ‘regions’ of the experiential world that a given language (e.g., English) has overlooked or not charted in particular detail. By engaging with such words, our understanding of the world may be enriched accordingly.
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