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Interaction of logical and emotive meanings


The general notions concerning emotiveness have been set out in Part I, § 6—" Meaning from a Stylistic Point of View" (p. 57). However, some additional information is necessary for a better understanding of how logical and emotive meanings interact.

It must be clearly understood that the logical and the emotive are built into our minds and they are present there in different degrees when we think of various phenomena of objective reality. The ratio of the two elements is reflected in the composition of verbal chains, i.e. in expression. 1

Different emotional elements may appear in the utterance depending on its character and pragmatic aspect.

The emotional elements of the language have a tendency to wear out and are constantly replaced by new ones (see examples on p. 101—the word dramatic and others). Almost any word may acquire a greater or a lesser degree of emotiveness. This is due to the fact that, as B. Tomashevskyhas it, " The word is not only understood, it is also experienced." 2

There are words the function of which is to arouse emotion in the reader or listener. In such words emotiveness prevails over intellectuality. There are also words in which the logical meaning is almost entirely ousted. However, these words express feelings which have passed through our mind and therefore they have acquired an intellectual embodiment. In other words, emotiveness in language is a category of our minds and, consequently, our feelings are expressed not directly but indirectly, that is, by passing through our minds. It is therefore natural that some emotive words have become the recognized symbols of emotions; the emotions are, as it were, not expressed directly but referred to.

" The sensory stage of cognition of objective reality is not only the basis of abstract thinking, it also accompanies it, bringing the elements of sensory stimuli into the process of conceptual thinking, and thus defining the sensory grounds of the concepts as well as the combination of sensory images and logical concepts in a single act of thinking." 3

We shall try to distinguish between elements of language which have emotive meaning in their semantic structure and those which acquire this meaning in the context under the influence of a stylistic device or some other more expressive means in the utterance.

A greater or lesser volume of emotiveness may be distinguished in words which have emotive meaning in their semantic structure. The most highly emotive words are words charged with emotive meaning to the extent that the logical meaning can hardly be registered. These are interjections and all kinds of exclamations. Next come epithets, in which we



1 См. также Балла Ш. Французская стилистика. М., 1961, с. 17.

2 Томашевский Б. Язык писателя. «Литературная газета», №69, 2 июня 1951.

3 Бабайцева В. В. О выражении в языке взаимодействия между чувственной и абстрактной ступенями познания действительности.— «Язык и мышление», М., 1967, с 57.

can observe a kind of parity between emotive and logical meaning. Thirdly come epithets of the oxymoronic type, in which the logical meaning prevails over the emotive but where the emotive is the result of the clash between the logical and illogical.


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