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Theoretical Linguistics

An Open Peer Review Journal

Editor-in-Chief: Krifka, Manfred

Ed. by Gärtner, Hans-Martin

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Volume 33, Issue 2


Filling the emotion gap in linguistic theory: Commentary on Potts' expressive dimension

Timothy Jay / Kristin Janschewitz
Published Online: 2007-10-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TL.2007.014


We begin with Potts' concluding remarks: “… this paper is by no means the final word on the expressive dimension.” Certainly more work on expressives is necessary if linguistic theory is to address the role of word emotionality in language. No theory will be complete until we do so, and Potts' efforts to move the field in this direction are commendable. A more comprehensive understanding of why and how people use emotional and offensive language will make Potts' theory more complete. Scholars who study offensive expressives need to be familiar with research about why people curse and why they choose the particular words they do. We first address how and why, then we review Potts' work in the context of psycholinguistic research on taboo words.

About the article

Published Online: 2007-10-16

Published in Print: 2007-10-19

Citation Information: Theoretical Linguistics, Volume 33, Issue 2, Pages 215–221, ISSN (Print) 0301-4428, ISSN (Print) 1613-4060, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TL.2007.014.

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