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Lodz Papers in Pragmatics

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Might Interjections Encode Concepts? More Questions than Answers

Manuel Cruz
Published Online: 2010-01-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10016-009-0015-9

Might Interjections Encode Concepts? More Questions than Answers

This paper reflects on the conceptual nature of interjections. Although there are convincing reasons to claim that interjections do not encode concepts, arguments can be adduced to question such claim. In fact, some pragmatists have contended that they may be conceptual elements. After reviewing both the non-conceptualist and conceptualist approaches to interjections, this paper discusses some reasons that can be given to reconsider the conceptuality of interjections. Nevertheless, it adopts an intermediate standpoint by arguing that the heterogeneity of interjections, with items incorporated from other lexical categories, and the openness of the word class they constitute, which results in the coinage of certain interjections or the innovative usage of some elements, could indicate the existence of a continuum of more and less conceptual items. In any case, this paper suggests that those items with conceptual content would not encode full concepts, but some schematic material requiring subsequent pragmatic adjustments.

Keywords: Interjections; conceptual meaning; procedural meaning; relevance theory

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About the article


Published Online: 2010-01-06

Published in Print: 2009-01-01


Citation Information: Lodz Papers in Pragmatics, Volume 5, Issue 2, Pages 241–270, ISSN (Online) 1898-4436, ISSN (Print) 1895-6106, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10016-009-0015-9.

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