- Interjections and the Language Functions Debate
- Bulletin - the Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Five views of the function of interjections, developed in the first half of the 20th century by the psychologist-linguist Bühler, the linguists Gardiner, and Jakobson, and the psychologists Révész and Duijker, are discussed. All five scholars reject the earlier psychologism that reinforced the traditional emotion-expressive view of interjections; all of them argue for a listener-directed, communicative view of language in general, and all include a specific appeal-to-the-listener-function in their model of language functions. My original hypothesis was therefore that these scholars would reject the one-sided traditional view that interjections mainly express the speaker’s emotions, acknowledging instead that the central function of most interjections is to make some appeal to the listener (a view supported by recent investigation of a corpus of spoken Dutch, which shows that only 7% fulfils a purely expressive function). As it turns out, however, all five scholars support the traditional view and attributed an expressive function to interjections. In this paper I try to explain this unexpected result.
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.