Linguistic Emotivity

Centrality of place, the topic-comment dynamic, and an ideology of <i>pathos</i> in Japanese discourse

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<i>Linguistic Emotivity</i> explores expressive and emotive meanings in Japanese from the perspective of the Place of Negotiation theory. The Place of Negotiation theory provides a framework for understanding how linguistic signs function in the place of communication (in cognitive, emotive, and interactional places). The theory finds the indexicality of a sign fundamental and views meanings as being negotiated among interactants who share not only information but, more significantly, feelings.<br />Using analytical tools recognized in conversation and discourse analyses, the book analyzes emotive topics (vocatives, emotive nominals, quotative topics, etc.) and emotive comments (<i>da</i> and <i>ja-nai</i>, interrogatives, stylistic shifts, etc.) in contemporary Japanese discourse. It argues for the importance of emotivity in Japanese, in the context of the Japanese culture of <i>pathos</i>. <i>Linguistic Emotivity</i> challenges the traditional view of language that privileges <i>logos</i>, form, information, and abstraction, and instead, it proposes a philosophical shift toward <i>pathos</i>, expression, emotion, and linguistic event/action.

Subjects: Philosophy; Semantics; Altaic languages; Discourse studies; Pragmatics

  • Affiliations: 1: Rutgers University

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