Chapter published in:The Construction of Discourse as Verbal Interaction
Edited by María de los Ángeles Gómez González and J. Lachlan Mackenzie
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 296] 2018
► pp. 273–296
Two dimensions of language intensity in evaluative discourse
Contextuality and semantic richness
Language intensity has been investigated within several disciplines, such as linguistics, stylistics and social psychology, and from several approaches. As a result, a wide range of intensifying elements and effects have been identified. In this chapter, we demonstrate on the basis of a qualitative corpus-analytical study that two dimensions play a decisive role in the discrimination of intensified language: contextuality and semantic richness. Contextuality reflects the degree to which the intensifying meaning of an element depends on its context. Semantic richness describes the amount of meaningful information that an intensifying element contains on top of its intensification function. This chapter is a starting point for further research concerning the characteristics of language intensity. Our insights contribute to established approaches in corpus-analytical and stylistic research.
Keywords: language intensity, evaluative discourse, qualitative analysis, corpus study, stylistics
Published online: 20 September 2018
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Liebrecht, Christine, Lettica Hustinx & Margot van Mulken
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