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On the descriptive ineffability of expressive meaning

Blakemore, Diane 2011, 'On the descriptive ineffability of expressive meaning ' , Journal of Pragmatics, 43 (14) , pp. 3537-3550.

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    Abstract

    On the descriptive ineffability of expressive meaning This paper addresses the question of whether there can be a unitary account of expressive meaning by considering the descriptive ineffability of expressives such as damn or bastard, on the one hand, and certain kinds of repetition, on the other. Drawing on Blakemore’s (2002) work on the semantics of discourse markers and Wharton’s (2009) work on the pragmatics of non-verbal communication, I show first, that Blakemore’s notion of procedural meaning can provide an explanation for the descriptive ineffability of expressives such as damn; and, second, that why linguistic expressives are similar to non-linguistic expressive behaviour such as gesture and tone of voice. Finally, I show that the descriptive ineffability of expressive meanings conveyed by repetition must be given a different sort of explanation: it follows from the hearer’s assumption that the processing effort entailed by the repetition can be offset by weakly communicated cognitive effects – effects which the speaker trusts the hearer to derive for himself on the basis of his memory and imagination. The paper concludes by speculating on why these two different sorts of expressive meaning are not distinguished in work on free indirect style (cf Banfield 1982, Fludernik 1993). Keywords Descriptive ineffability Expressive Expletive Free indirect style Interjection Non-verbal communication Procedural meaning Relevance Repetition Weak communication

    Item Type: Article
    Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Pragmatics
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 0378 2166
    Depositing User: DL Blakemore
    Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2012 13:21
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 18:31
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/23611

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