I am working on a project where the aim is to create a dictionary of creativity terms. I am a scholar of social psychology and marketing, and the aim the project is to be able to track ideas and creativity in online forums.

Therefore I was thinking if anyone in here would know what theoretical field I am looking for within linguistics. I have the idea that if fx people are angry, they tend to write certain terms or sets of terms. Also when people are happy they tend to write certain terms or sets of terms. In order for these things or terms to be generic, they should be independent of topic. That means if people are happy about fx their car or their dog, they would use the same terms to express their happiness across the two topics. Where I am getting at is that the mental state of happiness manifests itself as language by the terms we use. So will creativity. One could maybe imagine that when people are creative and solving problems, people would tend to use the sets of terms "i think" or "maybe we could"...

Can anyone maybe recognize what is the field I am searching for within linguistics and what are the keywords and maybe also authors that have been writing about this stuff?

  • 1
    It sounds like a sub-field of lexicography or lexical semantics.
    – Mitch
    Dec 24, 2013 at 15:47
  • 2
    "Creativity" is not a phenomenon, but a judgement on certain types of behavior. It can't be observed, but only subjectively judged after the behavior. As such, it can't be measured at all; certainly not in written language. Of course, one can code the judgements in and rely on intercoder consistency, but that's not likely to be repeatable.
    – jlawler
    Dec 24, 2013 at 23:44
  • 1
    The researches in Creativity Studies think otherwise.
    – Manjusri
    Jan 3, 2014 at 7:47
  • Manjusri: Can you please elaborate? Jan 3, 2014 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


This is a very interesting question. What I think should be defined is:

  1. What language is concerned? Different languages may predefine different patterns.

  2. The happiness, in my opinion, has nothing to do with happiness of creativity. An unhappy person can be very creative (and sometimes even more so than a happy one).

  3. The terms you are looking for are psycholinguistical markers of emotional states (provided a creativity is a form of emotional state, of which I am not sure).

  • 1
    The happiness has nothing to do with happiness. - That's well said.
    – Yellow Sky
    Dec 24, 2013 at 17:19
  • Thanks for your answer. I think you pushed me in the right direction. If i do a search on "linguistic markers" I get som results I can use! Jan 3, 2014 at 15:18

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