Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (2):365-391 (2022)

Kate Hazel Jain
University of Pittsburgh
‘You bastard’ is insulting because ‘bastard’ is an expletive, but what’s wrong with ‘You Hoboken’ or ‘You big wet noodle’? This paper explores the semantics of a vocative construction that is particularly efficient at coining what I call ‘expressive labels’; these are affect-transmitting expressions that present themselves as apt for identifying their discourse target via speaker affect. Building on work by Portner On information structure, meaning and form. Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2007) and Gutzmann, I show how discourse properties direct and constrain the conversion to expressive label, and offer a semantics for this construction that unifies these cases with more conventional evaluative vocatives, like ‘you bastard’.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10988-021-09333-y
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,079
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Literal Meaning.François Recanati - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Languages and Language.David K. Lewis - 1975 - In Keith Gunderson (ed.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 3-35.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Expressive Role of Truth in Truth‐Conditional Semantics.Claire Horisk - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):535-557.
The Expressive Role of Truth in Truth-Conditional Semantics.Claire Horisk - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):535–557.
Remarks on The Semantics of Racial Slurs.Adam M. Croom - 2014 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 13:11-32.
An Utterance Situation-Based Comparison.Osamu Sawada - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (3):205-248.
Hybrid Logic Meets If Modal Logic.Tero Tulenheimo - 2009 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 18 (4):559-591.
Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
Truth-Maker Semantics for Intuitionistic Logic.Kit Fine - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):549-577.
The Expressive Dimension.Christopher Potts - 2007 - Theoretical Linguistics 33 (2):165-198.
The Semantics of Symbolic Speech.Berckmans Paul - 1997 - Law and Philosophy 16 (2):145-176.


Added to PP index

Total views
18 ( #608,085 of 2,506,082 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #73,777 of 2,506,082 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes