A Theory of Emotions Based on Natural Language Semantics

A Theory of Emotions Based on Natural Language Semantics

Tom Adi (Management Information Technologies, Inc., USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-354-8.ch016
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Abstract

A new theory of emotions is derived from the semantics of the language of emotions. The sound structures of 36 Old Arabic word roots that express specific emotions are converted into abstract models. By substitution from two tables, abstract models are converted into concrete theories about the nature of the specific emotions that are likely to be validated. Theories confirmed by the author’s own emotional experience (self reports), and by previously corroborated theories, are considered corroborated. These theories about specific emotions are woven together into an integrated theory of all emotions. The theory models emotions and emotional mechanisms, dimensions and polarities in ways amenable to affective computing. The findings are supported by clinical psychology. Old Arabic is chosen because its words, sounds and meanings are consistent and have not changed for at least 1,400 years. The theory can be expanded by incorporating additional emotional word roots from Arabic and other alphabetical languages.
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Introduction

Synthetic emotions and affective computing are implementations of models of emotions. Such models are based on available evidence about emotions. Behavior (e.g., crying) and physiology (e.g., high blood pressure) offer vague information about how a person feels (e.g., sad, angry). Precise evidence only is available when a person describes his own emotional experience in his own words (Fussell, 2002).

To study such self reports, one needs to understand semantics—the nature of language meanings. However, different languages express emotions differently. For example, many languages have no exact equivalent to “emotion,” “sadness” or “disgust” (Goddard, 2002). Researchers, therefore, have looked for semantic universals—concepts that are shared among languages. Semantic universals that are related to emotions are emotional universals.

Some have suggested as emotional universals English terms such as disapprove and blameworthy that describe causes of emotions (Goddard, 2002). Others have suggested terms such as loss and offense that describe conditions leading to emotions (Goddard, 2002).

Still others believe that such complex terms are not shared among languages (Goddard, 2002). Instead, they propose as semantic universals simple terms that have exact equivalents in all languages, such as person, good, bad, think, know, feel, do, and happen (Goddard, 2002). By looking for the simplest common denominator, however, one risks missing semantic universals that are not simple.

In an attempt to be both universal and comprehensive, the author has looked for semantic commonality among languages at the most abstract level: by analyzing the relations between sounds and meanings in Old Arabic (Adi, 2007). Many sounds are shared among languages, and these sounds are signs that point to abstract semantic universals (Adi & Ewell, 1987a, 1987b, 1996).

Consider, for example, the sound “f.” It represents the abstract semantic universals open-self and manifestation. For the “f” in feel, these abstract universals can be realized as opening oneself to outside manifestations. For the “f” in fear, the universals are realized as negative event. Negative is a realization of the universal open-self. Event is a realization of manifestation. For the sound “f” in fear, the universals may have an alternative realization: vulnerable status. Vulnerable is a realization of open-self. Status is a realization of manifestation. For the “f” in Arabic uff, a complaining term, the universals are realized as negative event, just as in English fear.

The sounds of human language point to abstract universals that each have many possible realizations. Combined in a word root, these sounds produce ambiguity: multiple meanings. Thus, even emotional word roots that are ambiguous can be included in the evidence studied to understand the nature of emotions.

The structure of the sounds in an emotional word root reflects some aspects of the structure of the emotion itself.

The task of developing a theory of emotions has required researchers to perform long and tedious tests of many proposed theories in order to corroborate, given good luck, a single one of them. It would be much more efficient—a scientist’s dream—to have an algorithm that generates promising theories, i.e., ones that are likely to be corroborated. Fewer tests are then required and success is almost guaranteed.

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce such an algorithm that is based on natural language semantics, and to employ it to develop a theory of emotions. First, theories that explain specific emotions are developed. Then, those theories are woven into an integrated theory of emotions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Algorithm C: (applied to emotions). A word root expressing an emotion is converted into an abstract theory about the emotion. This is realized in alternative theories that are checked against self reports.

Emotional Polarity: Emotional realization of abstract polarity.

Common Realizations: Realizations of abstract processes and polarities from the author’s previous research.

Emotion, Elementary: Emotional realizations of elementary abstract processes. Attachment is a realization of assignment. Emotional activity is a realization of manifestation. Emotional force is a realization of containment.

Emotion, Compound: Emotional realization of a compound abstract process.

Compound Abstract Process: A combination of two or three elementary abstract processes. Abstract process is short for elementary or compound abstract process.

Adi Theory of Semantics: (in a nutshell): Each consonant refers to an abstract process and an abstract polarity. These universals combine in a word root to create a theory about the thing the root names.

Abstract Polarity: One of four abstract universals: closed-self, open-self, closed others and open-others.

Elementary Abstract Process: One of three abstract universals: assignment, manifestation and containment.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Craig DeLancey
Preface
Jordi Vallverdú, David Casacuberta
Chapter 1
Oscar Deniz, Javier Lorenzo, Mario Hernández, Modesto Castrillón
Social intelligence seems to obviously require emotions. People have emotions, recognize them in others and also express them. A wealth of... Sample PDF
Emotional Modeling in an Interactive Robotic Head
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Chapter 2
Cyril Laurier, Perfecto Herrera
Creating emotionally sensitive machines will significantly enhance the interaction between humans and machines. In this chapter we focus on enabling... Sample PDF
Automatic Detection of Emotion in Music: Interaction with Emotionally Sensitive Machines
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Chapter 3
Christoph Bartneck, Michael J. Lyons
The human face plays a central role in most forms of natural human interaction so we may expect that computational methods for analysis of facial... Sample PDF
Facial Expression Analysis, Modeling and Synthesis: Overcoming the Limitations of Artificial Intelligence with the Art of the Soluble
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Chapter 4
Sajal Chandra Banik, Keigo Watanabe, Maki K. Habib, Kiyotaka Izumi
Multi-robot team work is necessary for complex tasks which cannot be performed by a single robot. To get the required performance and reliability... Sample PDF
Multirobot Team Work with Benevolent Characters: The Roles of Emotions
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Chapter 5
Matthias Scheutz, Paul Schermerhorn
Effective decision-making under real-world conditions can be very difficult as purely rational methods of decision-making are often not feasible or... Sample PDF
Affective Goal and Task Selection for Social Robots
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Chapter 6
Christopher P. Lee-Johnson, Dale A. Carnegie
The hypothesis that artificial emotion-like mechanisms can improve the adaptive performance of robots and intelligent systems has gained... Sample PDF
Robotic Emotions: Navigation with Feeling
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Chapter 7
C. Gros
All self-active living beings need to solve the motivational problem—the question of what to do at any moment of their life. For humans and... Sample PDF
Emotions, Diffusive Emotional Control and the Motivational Problem for Autonomous Cognitive Systems
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Chapter 8
Bruce J. MacLennan
This chapter addresses the “Hard Problem” of consciousness in the context of robot emotions. The Hard Problem, as defined by Chalmers, refers to the... Sample PDF
Robots React, but Can They Feel?
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Chapter 9
Mercedes García-Ordaz, Rocío Carrasco-Carrasco, Francisco José Martínez-López
It is contended here that the emotional elements and features of human reasoning should be taken into account when designing the personality of... Sample PDF
Personality and Emotions in Robotics from the Gender Perspective
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Chapter 10
Antoni Gomila, Alberto Amengual
In this chapter we raise some of the moral issues involved in the current development of robotic autonomous agents. Starting from the connection... Sample PDF
Moral Emotions for Autonomous Agents
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Chapter 11
Pietro Cipresso, Jean-Marie Dembele, Marco Villamira
In this work, we present an analytical model of hyper-inflated economies and develop a computational model that permits us to consider expectations... Sample PDF
An Emotional Perspective for Agent-Based Computational Economics
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Chapter 12
Michel Aubé
The Commitment Theory of Emotions is issued from a careful scrutiny of emotional behavior in humans and animals, as reported in the literature on... Sample PDF
Unfolding Commitments Management: A Systemic View of Emotions
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Chapter 13
Sigerist J. Rodríguez, Pilar Herrero, Olinto J. Rodríguez
Today, realism and coherence are highly searched qualities in agent’s behavior; but these qualities cannot be achieved completely without... Sample PDF
A Cognitive Appraisal Based Approach for Emotional Representation
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Chapter 14
Clément Raïevsky, François Michaud
Emotion plays several important roles in the cognition of human beings and other life forms, and is therefore a legitimate inspiration for providing... Sample PDF
Emotion Generation Based on a Mismatch Theory of Emotions for Situated Agents
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Chapter 15
Artificial Surprise  (pages 267-291)
Luis Macedo, Amilcar Cardoso, Rainer Reisenzein, Emiliano Lorini
This chapter reviews research on computational models of surprise. Part 1 begins with a description of the phenomenon of surprise in humans, reviews... Sample PDF
Artificial Surprise
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Chapter 16
Tom Adi
A new theory of emotions is derived from the semantics of the language of emotions. The sound structures of 36 Old Arabic word roots that express... Sample PDF
A Theory of Emotions Based on Natural Language Semantics
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Chapter 17
Huma Shah, Kevin Warwick
The Turing Test, originally configured as a game for a human to distinguish between an unseen and unheard man and woman, through a text-based... Sample PDF
Emotion in the Turing Test: A Downward Trend for Machines in Recent Loebner Prizes
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Chapter 18
Félix Francisco Ramos Corchado, Héctor Rafael Orozco Aguirre, Luis Alfonso Razo Ruvalcaba
Emotions play an essential role in the cognitive processes of an avatar and are a crucial element for modeling its perception, learning, decision... Sample PDF
Artificial Emotional Intelligence in Virtual Creatures
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Chapter 19
Sarantos I. Psycharis
In our study we collected data with respect to cognitive variables (learning outcome), metacognitive indicators (knowledge about cognition and... Sample PDF
Physics and Cognitive-Emotional-Metacognitive Variables: Learning Performance in the Environment of CTAT
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Chapter 20
Anthony G. Francis Jr., Manish Mehta, Ashwin Ram
Believable agents designed for long-term interaction with human users need to adapt to them in a way which appears emotionally plausible while... Sample PDF
Emotional Memory and Adaptive Personalities
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Chapter 21
Dorel Gorga, Daniel K. Schneider
The purpose of this contribution is to discuss conceptual issues and challenges related to the integration of emotional agents in the design of... Sample PDF
Computer-Based Learning Environments with Emotional Agents
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Chapter 22
Emotional Ambient Media  (pages 443-459)
Artur Lugmayr, Tillmann Dorsch, Pabo Roman Humanes
The “medium is the message”: nowadays the medium as such is non-distinguishable from its presentation environment. However, what is the medium in an... Sample PDF
Emotional Ambient Media
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Chapter 23
Jordi Vallverdú, David Casacuberta
During the previous stage of our research we developed a computer simulation (called ‘The Panic Room’ or, more simply, ‘TPR’) dealing with synthetic... Sample PDF
Modelling Hardwired Synthetic Emotions: TPR 2.0
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Chapter 24
Cecile K.M. Crutzen, Hans-Werner Hein
A vision of future daily life is explored in Ambient Intelligence (AmI). It follows the assumption that information technology should disappear into... Sample PDF
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About the Contributors