Language and Controversy: A Case of Ronaldo-Messi Who Is Who

Amenorvi C.R.


This paper investigated the linguistic and literary features of the submissions and rebuffs of the language of debate or controversy particularly that of the Ronaldo-Messi-who-is-who debates through the emotions of joy and anger. Findings reveal that linguistically, submissions of both joy and anger are done through content descriptive lexical items, namely, nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. Literarily, the two polar emotions employed literary devices such as metaphor, hyperbole, transferred epithet, allusion, repetition, oxymoron, imagery, rhetorical questions, parallelism and rhythm in their submissions. The submissions of anger display more sophistication particularly in the employment of literary devices. This has an implication for cognitive linguistics as to whether the linguistic atmosphere of anger creates more mental pictures than that of joy.


Language and controversy, who is who, Ronaldo, Messi, debates, joy, anger, emotions, linguistics, literature

Full Text:



Author (2018). Lexical Cohesion and Literariness in Malcolm X's "The Ballot or the Bullet". The Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances, 6(1), 27-37.

Cuddon, J. A. (1999). Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, revised by C. E. Preston.

Dupriez, BM (1991). A dictionary of literary devices: Gradus, AZ . University of Toronto Press.

Foolen, A. (2012). The relevance of emotion for language and linguistics. Moving ourselves, moving others: Motion and emotion in intersubjectivity, consciousness and language, 349-369.

Fussell, S. R., & Moss, M. M. (1998). Figurative language in emotional communication. Social and cognitive approaches to interpersonal communication, 113-141.

Gibbs Jr, R. W., Leggitt, J. S., & Turner, E. A. (2002). What's special about figurative language in emotional communication?. In The verbal communication of emotions (pp. 133-158). Psychology Press.

Gibbs, R. W., Gibbs Jr, R. W., & Gibbs, J. (1994). The poetics of mind: Figurative thought, language, and understanding. Cambridge University Press.

Kövecses, Z. (1995). Anger: Its language, conceptualization, and physiology in the light of cross-cultural evidence. Language and the Cognitive Construal of the World, 181-196.

Kulick, D. (1992). Anger, gender, language shift and the politics of revelation in a Papua New Guinean village. Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), 2(3), 281-296.

Kulick, D., & Schieffelin, B. B. (2004). Language socialization. A companion to linguistic anthropology, 349, 368.

Maalej, Z. (2004). Figurative language in anger expressions in Tunisian Arabic: An extended view of embodiment. Metaphor and symbol, 19(1), 51-75.

Roben, C. K., Cole, P. M., & Armstrong, L. M. (2013). Longitudinal relations among language skills, anger expression, and regulatory strategies in early childhood. Child development, 84(3), 891-905.

Shenghuan, X. U. (2011). Why is transferred epithet possible?[J]. Foreign Language Teaching and Research, 3.

Taylor, J. R., & Mbense, T. G. (1998). Red dogs and rotten mealies: How Zulus talk about anger. Speaking of emotions: Conceptualisation and expression, 10, 191-226.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.