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Expressives and Expressivity

Eric McCready
Published Online: 2014-10-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/opli-2014-0004


This paper considers the questions of translatability and expressive power. It is argued that truthconditional content is always translatable, and does not produce differences in expressive power. Most nontruth- conditional content—presupposition, ‘side effects’ such as anaphora, and conventional implicature—is shown to not always translate successfully, but still not to produce genuine differences in expressivity. This last property appears to clearly hold only of terms which introduce expressive content: only for such content is genuine incommensurability found in natural language. Some implications of these findings are discussed.

Keywords: expressive content; translation; expressive power


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About the article

Received: 2014-04-03

Accepted: 2014-09-30

Published Online: 2014-10-27

Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 1, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/opli-2014-0004.

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© 2014 Eric McCready. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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