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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2009, Vol. 40, No. 2, Pages 356-366
(doi: 10.1162/ling.2009.40.2.356)
© 2009 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Expressives and Identity Conditions
Article PDF (142.75 KB)
Abstract

We present diverse evidence for Pullum and Rawlins’s (2007) claim that expressives behave differently from descriptives in constructions that enforce a particular kind of semantic identity between elements. Our data are drawn from a wide variety of languages and construction types, and they point uniformly to a basic linguistic distinction between descriptive content and expressive content (Kaplan 1999, Potts 2007).