Voici les éléments 1 - 2 sur 2
- PublicationAccès libreFace Management and Negative Strengthening: The Role of Power Relations, Social Distance, and Gender(2021-9-27)
;Gotzner, NicoleNegated gradable adjectives often convey an interpretation that is stronger than their literal meaning, which is referred to as ‘negative strengthening.’ For example, a sentence like ‘John is not kind’ may give rise to the inference that John is rather mean. Crucially, negation is more likely to be pragmatically strengthened in the case of positive adjectives (‘not kind’ to mean rather mean) than negative adjectives (‘not mean’ to mean rather kind). A classical explanation of this polarity asymmetry is based on politeness, specifically on the potential face threat of bare negative adjectives (Horn, 1989; Brown and Levinson, 1987). This paper presents the results of two experiments investigating the role of face management in negative strengthening. We show that negative strengthening of positive and negative adjectives interacts differently with the social variables of power, social distance, and gender.
- PublicationAccès libreThe polarity asymmetry of negative strengthening: dissociating adjectival polarity from face- threatening potential(2021-4-12)The interpretation of negated antonyms is characterised by a polarity asymmetry: the negation of a positive polarity antonym (X is not interesting) is more likely to be strengthened to convey its opposite (‘X is uninteresting’) than the negation of a negative polarity antonym (X is not uninteresting to convey that ‘X is interesting’) is. A classical explanation of this asymmetry relies on face management. Since the predication of a negative polarity antonym (X is uninteresting) is potentially face-threatening in most contexts, the negation of the corresponding positive polarity antonym (X is not interesting) is more likely to be interpreted as an indirect strategy to minimise face-threat while getting the message across. We present two experimental studies in which we test the predictions of this explanation. In contrast with it, our results show that adjectival polarity, but not face-threatening potential, appears to be responsible for the asymmetric interpretation of negated antonyms.