What is love, actually? Descriptions may vary

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World News

December 20, 2019 - 3:31 PM

A student races to embrace a favorite teacher in Columbia, Md. BALTIMORE SUN/DOUG KAPUSTIN/TNS

Is the meaning of love truly universal? It might depend on the language you speak, a new study finds.

Scientists who searched out semantic patterns in nearly 2,500 languages from all over the world found that emotion words — such as angst, grief and happiness — could have very different meanings depending on the language family they originated from.

The findings, described in the journal Science, shed light on the diversity of human feeling expressed around the globe — while still mapping some common linguistic landmarks among the languages’ internal emotional landscapes.

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