This data was collected for the manuscript 'Impaired emotion perception and categorization in semantic aphasia'. We studied a sample of left hemisphere stroke patients with 'semantic aphasia', characterised as multimodal impairment in the controlled retrieval of semantic concepts. We tested the constructionist hypothesis of emotion; that emotion perception and categorization is dependent on conceptual representations of discrete emotion states. Based on this hypothesis, impaired semantic processing may also manifest as impaired emotion processing. We assessed the effects of impaired semantic control on the ability to categorize discrete facial emotion portrayals, across two studies. We found evidence for baseline impairments in emotion categorization across two studies. We also found anticipated cueing effects, where facilitating access to relevant conceptual information aided emotion categorization, while distracting miscues had deleterious effects on accuracy. All collected and processed data is availiable. The document 'Impaired emotion perception and categorization in semantic aphasia – Data Guide' can be used a guide for interpreting the data with reference to the manuscript.