Like tearjerkers

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Possible Answers: EMOTIVE.

Last seen on: LA Times Crossword 3 Dec 18, Monday

Random information on the term “EMOTIVE”:

“Emotional expressions”, also called “emotives” are an effort by the speaker to offer an interpretation of something that is observable to no other actor (Reddy 1997). If emotions are feelings, emotives are the expressions of those feelings through the use of language, specifically through constructions that explicitly describe emotional states or attitudes. (Luke 2004).

The term was introduced by William M. Reddy in his article, Against Constructionism: The Historical Ethnography of Emotions (1997). Reddy is a Professor of History and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University.


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Emotives describe the process by which emotions are managed and shaped, not only by society and its expectations but also by individuals themselves as they seek to express the inexpressible, namely how they “feel” (Rosenwein 2002). One important difference between emotive and descriptive use of language is the difference in intention. The discourse of a man using language emotively, using it to express or to arouse feelings, differs in intention from the discourse of a man using language descriptively to convey descriptive meanings (Castell 1949). Emotion claims are attempts to translate into words (1) nonverbal events that are occurring in this halo or (2) enduring states of this halo and this background. Emotion claims, as a result, can be viewed, by analogy with speech act theory, as constituting a special class of utterance, [called emotives] (Reddy 1999). Reddy tells us in his later writing that emotives are similar to performatives in that emotives do things to the world. Emotives are themselves instruments for directly changing, building, hiding, and intensifying emotions (Reddy 1999). Ultimately, expressed emotions, i.e. emotives, may be more important than inner states of emotion in constructing a social reality (Luke 2004).

EMOTIVE on Wikipedia