A comparative analysis of legal versus cultural and psychological connotations of the term 'guilt': implications for cognitive linguistics and for legal sciences

The present article is concerned with the notion of 'guilt' as understood by the legal sciences and in the context of psychology and culture studies. Although legal connotations are unavoidable, 'guilt' is a term emotionally related to other feelings like 'shame', 'fear', 'sadness' etc. The analysis shall take a closer look at legal definitions of 'guilt' and 'culpability' at work in the American, Polish and German legal systems and refer the equivalents existing in these languages
more » ... to the concept of guilt understood as an emotion. As it turns out, legal definitions do not account for conceptual dimension of meaning and as such, they can only serve as departure points for further analysis to be complemented with cognitive analysis. 'Guilt' is a culturally determined and complex emotion that may be 'dissected' into several more basic emotional states. The underlying assumption is that there are differences in the understanding of the concept 'guilt' across languages which must be taken into account by the translators who deal with translational equivalents.
doi:10.24425/linsi.2020.133267 fatcat:hgozz6mh3fao3j2qqlwvttrrdy