That bloody so-and-so has retired: expressives revisited

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In this paper, I revisit my own work (2003ab, 2009) on interjections and non-verbal behaviours and build on Blakemore’s (2011) account of the descriptive ineffability of expressive meaning. Whilst I agree with Blakemore’s claim that expressives are best explained through an analysis that uses, on the one hand, procedural meaning, and, on the other, the idea that they show one’s emotions, rather than meanNN anything in the Gricean sense, I ask two questions by way of developing the account further. Firstly, what is the relationship between the procedural meaning in Blakemore’s account of expressives and the kind encoded by discourse connectives? Secondly, to what extent do we want to say that expressives mean anything at all? In answering these questions I aim to shed light on what expressive meaning is, and how it works.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-35
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


  • Expressives
  • Epithets
  • Procedural meaning
  • Showing
  • MeaningNN
  • Emotional procedures
  • Emotional vigilance
  • Ostensive
  • Non-ostensive

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