Expressive Function

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Expressive Function


one of the functions of a linguistic sign, consisting in the ability to express the speaker’s emotional state and his subjective attitude toward designated objects and phenomena of reality.

Expression can be conveyed through the use of various linguistic elements. Among such elements are interjections, such as akhl (“ah!” conveying surprise, delight, or fright) and okh! (“oh!” conveying dismay, sadness, or pain), and their derivatives akhat’ (“to say ‘ah!’”; “to gasp”), okhat’ (“to say ‘oh!’ “; “to moan”), akhan’e (“gasping”), and okhan’e (“moaning”). Certain grammatical forms can also be used, such as the hypocoristic suffixes -en’k and -ik, as in svezhen’kii ogurchik (“a fresh cucumber”).

Another means of communicating expression is the use of the imperative and subjunctive moods of verbs. The imperative Ukhodi! (“Go away!”) can be more forcefully expressed through the use of the subjunctive Ukhodil by!; the expression can be rendered still stronger through the addition of an emphatic particle: Da ukhodi zhe! Expression can also be achieved through the use of certain expressive words of elevated or low style, such as the literary variants ochi (“eyes”) and vkushat’ (“to eat”) of the neutral equivalents glaza and est’, respectively. Intonation can also serve as a means of conveying expression. In linguistics, the study of expressive function is part of stylistics.


Galkina-Fedoruk, E. M. “Ob ekspressivnosti i emotsional’nosti v iazyke.” In the collection Sbornik statei po iazykoznaniiu: Professoru Moskovskogo universiteta akademiku V. V. Vinogradovu [v den’ ego 60-letiia]. Moscow, 1958.
Bally, C. Frantsuzskaia stilistika. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from French.)
Vinokur, T. G. “O soderzhanii nekotorykh stilisticheskikh poniatii.” In the collection Stilislicheskie issledovaniia: Na materiale sovremennogo russkogo iazyka. Moscow, 1972.
Bühler, K. Sprachtheorie. Jena, 1934.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Oberman shapes the lesson of her book around an idea offered by law professor Cass Sunstein about the "expressive function" of law--the extent to which laws are written and passed not only to prevent certain conduct, but as a way for society to declare its values.
Together with his definition of narrative, it makes him overvalue the communicative function of narrative (at the expense of, say, its expressive function).
This expressive function of identity has been largely overlooked.
McAdams, The Condorcet Jury Theorem and the Expressive Function of Law: A Theory of Informative Law, 5 Am.
A description of communicative valences of dance may be achieved in terms of Jakobson's language functions: whereas the referential function may be blurred and the poetic function contested by the modern exigencies of authenticity (which undermine the academic code), the expressive function prevails within the semantic structure of the choreographic message.
Here, Smith seems in sympathy with the novel as she describes it: more attentive to the material qualities of the clothes than to their expressive function. Part II explores how the novel's emphasis on useful, pragmatic garments "entailed a reconsideration of the possibilities of women's physical labor in the clothing trades" (79).
In chat rooms punctuation marks are used primarily in the expressive function.
on Channel 3 Here are some of the messages coded as having a referential or expressive function: Referential function Expressive function They punished me and won't let Hey sweetie!
A more holistic starting premise is also more realistic for two primary reasons: (1) the longevity of tax expenditures and (2) the expressive function of the tax laws.
A simple cost-benefit analysis ignores the expressive function of such a transaction: that Israel will exchange a thousand men for one is a statementa "speech act," if you willabout how Israel values life and how that sets it apart within its unfortunate part of the world.
Two functions that are traditionally associated with conducting (Bergee, 2005; Boardman, 2000; Chapman, 2008; Manfredo, 2008; Wollner & Auhagen, 2008) were verified: a Mechanical Precision Function and an Expressive Function that serve to communicate different sets of characteristics in the musical score.
The expressive function involves the attitude that the sender, i.e.