The Emotional Value of the Phrase ‘I love you’ for Iranian Bilinguals

Document Type : Research Paper


Languages and Linguistics center, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Misunderstanding the emotionality of a word or an emotion-laden word used inaccurately or inappropriately might lead to pragmatically unwanted and embarrassing effects. The present study’s objective was to analyze the perception and use of the phrase ‘I love you’ in Iranian bi/multilingual’s different languages. The aim was to identify if variables of sociobiographical, learning history, and social and linguistic context of L2 use affect the perceivedweight and use of this phrase. The research was conducted using both quantitative (statistical correlation) analysis and qualitative (open-ended questions) to investigate the research question. Twenty Iranian bi/multilingual participants answered an emotional language valuation questionnaire derived from a subsection of the Bilingualism and Emotion Questionnaire (BEQ) database. Our research found that there was no statistical association with the variables except language dominance. Furthermore, seventy percent of the participants reported feeling that ‘I love you’ had the greatest weight in their L1regardless of their age, gender, education level, whether they learned the L2 in a natural, instructed or mixed environment, the onset age of learning, even if they had a high degree of socialization and an extensive network of interlocutors in their L2.