Swear words are highly colloquial expressions that have the capacity to sig- nal the speaker’s affective states, i.e., to display the speaker’s feelings with respect to a certain stimulus. For this reason, swear words are often called expressives. Which linguistic mechanisms allow swear words display affective states, and, more importantly, how can such ‘affective content’ be character- ized in a theory of meaning? Even though research on expressive meaning has produced models that integrate the affective aspects of swear words in a compositional framework, there is extensive evidence that swear words can- not be assigned a single or stable affective interpretation across contexts. For example, even though expletive adjectives (e.g., 'damn'), particularistic insults (e.g., 'bastard') and slurs (e.g., 'wop') typically express (and elicit) negatively valenced affective states, they can also be interpreted positively in some con- texts. Thus, inspired in recent developments in formal sociolinguistics, I propose an 'indexical' approach to affective meaning. Under this approach, an affective expression is associated with a set of affective qualities, anyone of which may emerge at a given context depending on the interpreter’s prior assumptions about the speaker’s affective states and/or relation with the tar- get of the swear word. To define this set, also called 'indexical field', I will use the dimensions pleasure, arousal and dominance, standardly employed in cognitive psychology to characterize and measure affective episodes. In this dissertation, thus, the affective meaning of an expression is given by the set of affective states it typically conveys within a linguistic community, but its interpretation at a given context is established by taking into account the interpreter’s prior assumptions about the speaker’s affective states and/or attitudes with respect to the target of the affective expression.

THE LANDSCAPE OF AFFECTIVE MEANING / V.r. Carranza Pinedo ; coordinatore: A. Pinotti ; supervised by E. Paganini and M. Abrusan. - : . Università degli Studi di Milano, 2022 Jul 11. ((34. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2021.

THE LANDSCAPE OF AFFECTIVE MEANING

V.R. CARRANZA PINEDO
2022-07-11

Abstract

Swear words are highly colloquial expressions that have the capacity to sig- nal the speaker’s affective states, i.e., to display the speaker’s feelings with respect to a certain stimulus. For this reason, swear words are often called expressives. Which linguistic mechanisms allow swear words display affective states, and, more importantly, how can such ‘affective content’ be character- ized in a theory of meaning? Even though research on expressive meaning has produced models that integrate the affective aspects of swear words in a compositional framework, there is extensive evidence that swear words can- not be assigned a single or stable affective interpretation across contexts. For example, even though expletive adjectives (e.g., 'damn'), particularistic insults (e.g., 'bastard') and slurs (e.g., 'wop') typically express (and elicit) negatively valenced affective states, they can also be interpreted positively in some con- texts. Thus, inspired in recent developments in formal sociolinguistics, I propose an 'indexical' approach to affective meaning. Under this approach, an affective expression is associated with a set of affective qualities, anyone of which may emerge at a given context depending on the interpreter’s prior assumptions about the speaker’s affective states and/or relation with the tar- get of the swear word. To define this set, also called 'indexical field', I will use the dimensions pleasure, arousal and dominance, standardly employed in cognitive psychology to characterize and measure affective episodes. In this dissertation, thus, the affective meaning of an expression is given by the set of affective states it typically conveys within a linguistic community, but its interpretation at a given context is established by taking into account the interpreter’s prior assumptions about the speaker’s affective states and/or attitudes with respect to the target of the affective expression.
PAGANINI, ELISA
philosophy of language; pragmatics; expressives; swear words; rational speech-act framework; emotions
Settore M-FIL/05 - Filosofia e Teoria dei Linguaggi
THE LANDSCAPE OF AFFECTIVE MEANING / V.r. Carranza Pinedo ; coordinatore: A. Pinotti ; supervised by E. Paganini and M. Abrusan. - : . Università degli Studi di Milano, 2022 Jul 11. ((34. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2021.
Doctoral Thesis
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
phd_unimi_R12356.pdf

embargo fino al 14/07/2023

Descrizione: tesi completa (aprile 2022)
Tipologia: Altro
Dimensione 955.11 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
955.11 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/933926
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact