Emolinguistics: Every word, every clause, every phrase, every sentence, every communication, every thought has at least two meanings, factual and emotional.
History: Russell Crew-Gee worked for 40 years in English Language Teaching, the last 18 years at the University of Westminster. Previous to teaching he had worked in a number of industries and traveled halfway around the world and he also lived and worked in countries as diverse as Afghanistan to Portugal, and Mozambique, where he helped open an EFL school as Director of Studies, during the period of Independence. He also spent two years in Morocco as Director of Studies of International House, Casablanca. During his time at International House, London he specialized in Language Laboratory learning and was, as far as he is aware, the first teacher in the world to use video as a teaching medium and motivator in an afternoon skills class , which was shown to Directors of affiliated International House schools from around the world. He developed a Language Laboratory system at the University of Westminster, which was unique, focusing on student self-learning and experimented with computer learning, creating both a visual and aural individual learning experience. He also developed a unique course in Speaking Skills, where he eventually introduced aspects of Emolinguistics, which were enthusiastically embraced by his students. He has experienced many diverse cultures having, at some point in his life, visited many other countries on various continents.
His teaching had always focused on the concepts within language, from his first teacher training course. This helped him immensely in analysing the structure of the language. In 1986 he read a book called ‘Train the Trainer’ by Michael Birkenbihl which covered Emotion in some depth and quoted from research carried out by Paul Watzlawick an Austrian psychologist who drew up a set of scientific laws covering many aspects of communication. The axiom which caught his eye was:
EVERY COMMUNICATION HAS TWO ASPECTS, FACTUAL AND EMOTIONAL, THE LATTER DETERMINES THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE FORMER.
This statement led him to research which has produced the hypothesis behind Emolinguistics. He took the above axiom and applied it to language itself and the Emolinguistic extension of the above axiom states:
EVERY WORD, EVERY CLAUSE, EVERY PHRASE, EVERY SENTENCE, EVERY COMMUNICATION, EVERY THOUGHT HAS AT LEAST TWO MEANINGS, FACTUAL AND EMOTIONAL.
A linguistic extension of Paul Watzlewick psychological axiom. This is a significant difference because it is applied to every word and as a result, has revealed some illuminating results which are highly surprising.
Initially, he referred to his research as ‘The Language of Emotion’ and in 1986 he carried out a simple experiment which confirmed to him that there was much to be discovered. An article some time later appeared in an EFL publication under this heading and he delivered the above title lecture at an IATFL conference in relation to its impact on English Language Teaching. It evolved into Emolinguistics as more and more data related to the emotional impact of all languages became apparent and the implications coming from that data, the human vocabulary expansion a measure of civilization. Language creates the human being.
The hypothesis: The hypothesis is deceptively simple. Like many discoveries in the history of humans, it is almost stating the obvious. Emotion can be precisely measured in very simple terms by applying laws/language which describes Electricity. Positive, Negative, Neutral. All the vocabulary used to describe emotion, in different contexts can, in fact, be simplified to electrical terminology and therefore measured in its influence. The physical emotional trigger is the same for “dislike” as it is for “sadness” the variable is the response which provides the adjectival description and surprisingly the physical heart of emotion is based in our gut. It is his belief that lie detectors are measuring the emotional feelings to words and can be considered a physical form of an experiment confirming the veracity of his hypothesis, let alone all the observable empirical evidence in all written forms of languages. The source of all language is conceptualisation, for with concepts language has evolved from simplicity to complex over the millenniums of human time. Language the heart of human life.
Application: The hypothesis is the easy part, the application is more difficult and covers every aspect of our lives. It has taken him 30 years to be comfortable with presenting the hypothesis to the world since it has the potential to challenge human beliefs in a way which has never been explored before. Emolinguistics can take us to the beginning of language and also the future of human emotional development. Just taking Paul Watzlawick’s axiom a step further, without the results of Emolinguistics and it can be stated that there are two realities in life, Factual Reality and Emotional Reality.
Emolinguistics says that Factual Reality is when 100% of humans, be that an individual or group, believe something to be true. Emotional Reality is when that Factual Reality is exposed to other humans and they have an alternative logical narrative. Which concept is closest to Factual Reality as opposed to Emotional Reality is the determinate. His research has led him to believe that Emolinguistics provides a scientific basis for Emotional Intelligence, and even a Philosophy of Reality, since it draws in evidence from the Academic evidence available from a wealth of disciplines and human existence in today’s modern vocabulary of knowledge.
Emolinguistics applies to every language because it is the human emotion within all concepts which plays a similar role for all humans and it is at work in every area of our lives. It takes one back to the beginnings of language, initial human communication, the development of concepts over time and can take us forward into the future as well. It has the potential to provide every person with a tool to make their lives more successful and to communicate more effectively as human beings, a path to reality and a respectful and challenging humane society. Conscious emotional control as opposed to Sub-Conscious influence.
Emolinguistics, he believes, does not lend itself to the black and white of the written word and he has developed a presentation/lecture which plays with aspects of basic human communication in order for people to fully appreciate its potential in their own lives:
“We are the Emotional Being”