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Chapter 3: The Emotive Function of Language

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Chapter 3: The Emotive Function of Language Denotation, Connotation, and Cognitive Meaning (p. 18) The denotation of a term consists of all the objects picked out by ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 3: The Emotive Function of Language


1
Chapter 3 The Emotive Function of Language
2
Denotation, Connotation, and Cognitive Meaning
(p. 18)
  • The denotation of a term consists of all the
    objects picked out by the term.
  • The connotation of a term consists of those
    properties (characteristics) a thing has in
    virtue of which it is contained in the
    denotation.

3
Denotation, Connotation, and Cognitive Meaning
(p. 18)
  • Types of Connotations
  • The objective connotation consists of all the
    properties objects in the denotation have in
    common (whether or not anyone knows what they
    are).
  • The subjective connotation consists of all the
    properties you use to pick out the objects in the
    denotation.
  • The conventional connotation consists of all the
    properties a group of people use to pick out the
    objects in the denotation. The conventional
    connotation is what you usually find in a
    dictionary.

4
Denotation, Connotation, and Cognitive Meaning
(p. 18)
  • Cognitive meaning alludes to the connotation of a
    term in any one of the three previous senses.
    The cognitive meaning tells you what the
    characteristics of a thing are.

5
Emotional Connotations of Words (pp. 18-21)
  • Different words with the same or approximately
    the same cognitive meaning can affect you in
    different ways.
  • Does it make any emotional difference whether you
    describe someone as a killer, a soldier, or a
    military hero?
  • Euphemisms
  • Death is nasty. It is much better to pass
    away.
  • Euphemisms disguise the negative emotional impact
    of unambiguous terms such as death.

6
Why noticing emotional connotations is important
(pp. 20-21)
  • Biases
  • Biases can blind a person regarding what is seen
    (Chapter 10) or what is important (Chapter 11).
  • The choice of words can show ones biases
    regarding a person, a group, an organization, or
    an object.
  • Positive and negative biases should be taken into
    account in evaluating the accuracy and
    completeness of descriptions (Chapter 4) and the
    evidence presented to support a position.

7
Why noticing emotional connotations is important
(pp. 20-21)
  • Emotional terms and arguments
  • Arguments provide reasons to accept the truth of
    a claim (the conclusion). Only factual claims
    are relevant to accepting the truth of a claim.
  • Weasel Words There are words such as of
    course or certainly that have positive
    emotional connotations and suggest that there is
    evidence even when none is presented.
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