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Towards an Alternative Relevance-Theoretic Approach to Interjections

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The current relevance-theoretic approach to interjections (Wharton 2000, 2001, 2003) analyses these as procedural elements that contribute to the recovery of the higher-level explicatures of utterances. is analysis seems to work satisfactorily for those emotive/expressive interjections accompanying another proposition or appended to another utterance. However, it does not seem to apply to interjections occurring alone, as independent utterances, and to the so-called type of conative/volitive interjections. For this reason, based on previous work on interjections and some relevance-theoretic postulates, this paper seeks to suggest a more general procedural analysis of interjections, according to which the procedures they encode would not lead hearers to construct higher-level explicatures, but to access contextual material that is necessary for the correct interpretation of interjectional utterances. As a result of such procedural meaning, interjections can be used with a rather precise informative intention, can be taken to communicate propositions and result in cognitive effects.


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