Two dimensions of language intensity in evaluative discourse: Contextuality and semantic richness

C. Liebrecht, Lettica Hustinx, Margot van Mulken, Peter Jan Schellens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Language intensity has been investigated within several disciplines, such as
linguistics, stylistics and social psychology, and from several approaches. As a
result, a wide range of intensifying elements and effects have been identified.
In this chapter, we demonstrate on the basis of a qualitative corpus-analytical
study that two dimensions play a decisive role in the discrimination of intensified
language: contextuality and semantic richness. Contextuality reflects the
degree to which the intensifying meaning of an element depends on its context.
Semantic richness describes the amount of meaningful information that an
intensifying element contains on top of its intensification function. This chapter
is a starting point for further research concerning the characteristics of language
intensity. Our insights contribute to established approaches in corpus-analytical
and stylistic research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Construction of Discourse as Verbal Interaction
EditorsMaría de los Ángeles Gómez González, Lachlan Mackenzie
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789027263568
ISBN (Print)9789027201416
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • language intensity
  • evaluative discourse
  • qualitative analysis
  • corpus study
  • stylistics
  • taal
  • linguistiek
  • tekst


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