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The pragmatics of insinuation

Authors
  • Bertuccelli Papi, Marcella
Type
Published Article
Journal
Intercultural Pragmatics
Publisher
De Gruyter Mouton
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2014
Volume
11
Issue
1
Pages
1–29
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/ip-2014-0001
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

In this paper, I focus on insinuation as a communicative strategy whereby a speaker intends to make an addressee believe p, but does not want to be held accountable for communicating p. In its micro- or macro-textual format, and in its various degrees of nastiness, insinuation, I claim, is a complex process that presupposes the mind's capability to simultaneously activate and run multiple parallel mental spaces, associated to different intentions. Through the analysis of some examples, indirectness, manipulation, and deception will be shown to be involved in the process to varying degrees. In the final section of the paper I discuss how a Relevance-theoretic framework is able to accommodate the cognitive aspects of insinuation highlighted in the text.

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