A sociobiological account of indirect speech
Indirect speech is a remarkable trait of human communication. The present paper tackles the sociobiological underpinnings of communicative indirectness discussing both socio-interactional and cognitive rationales behind its manifestation in discourse. From a social perspective, the use of indirect forms in interactions can be regarded as an adaptive response to the epistemic implications of transacted new information in small primary groups, representing – in Givón’s terms – our “bio-cultural” descent. The design features of indirect strategies today may therefore be explained in terms of a form-function mapping in which indirect communicative expressions allowed a “safer” transaction of contents and a more cooperative attitude of speakers in both face-to-face and public contexts of communication. The unchallengeability effects notably induced by underencoded meanings have now received extensive experimental backing, unveiling intriguing underlying cognitive mechanisms such as the well-known cognitive illusions or fallacies.
- 2.Societies of intimates
- 3.Pragmatic foundations and cognitive prerequisites for indirect communication
- 4.Reasons and linguistic manifestations of indirect communication
- 5.Indirect communication in political speeches
- 6.Indirect communication and cognitive fallacies
- 7.Concluding remarks
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Cited by 2 other publications
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