The Concept of Love From the Perspectives of Big Data and Corpus Semantics: Meaning, Reference, and Metaphor

Arik E., Arik B. T.

STUDIES IN PSYCHOLOGY-PSIKOLOJI CALISMALARI DERGISI, vol.39, no.1, pp.151-178, 2019 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/sp2019-0011
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.151-178
  • Keywords: Love, concept, meaning, emotion, big data, corpus, LANGUAGE, CONTEXT
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: No


While love has been investigated by scholars in various disciplines, defining this abstract and evasive concept is a daunting task. In order to contribute to the multidisciplinary studies on love, this study investigates the meaning of love and its uses in everyday life in Turkish to provide its prototypes, using computational linguistics and corpus-based methods. The study follows the Prototype Theory and Corpus Semantics and applies corpus and Big Data methods. The data consisted of formal and colloquial dictionaries published by the Turkish Language Association; 2,500 lines, 10,671 types, and 27,855 tokens from the Turkish National Corpus; and, 85,980 short messages (tweets), 130,016 types, and 1,280,736 tokens from Twitter. The results showed that the love concepts were related to prototypes such as QUALITY, QUANTITY, TIME, PLACE, REALITY, MIND, BODY, LANGUAGE, BELIEF, THING, PERSON, PLANT, and VEHICLE. The results also showed that love in Turkish was not only related to positive emotions such as compassion and fun but also negative emotions such as pain and hate. Therefore, love was associated with both positive and negative emotion concepts. There were differences between the definitions of love, including idiomatic expressions in the formal dictionaries and the language used in daily life, because love was used not only in relation to intimate relationships or attachment but also in the context of pain, hate, illness. etc. Love was related to close relationships including both real and imaginary attachment. The meaning of love also differed depending on the context and with regard to (in)formal use of the language.