An Historical Linguistics Detective Story. This is well confusing!

Written by James Stratton, author of A Diachronic Analysis of the Adjective Intensifier well from Early Modern English to Present Day English in the Canadian Journal of Linguistics.

If you want to convince someone that the book you just read is worth reading, you can intensify your speech. Intensifiers are linguistic devices which allow speakers to impress, praise, persuade, and generally influence a listener’s understanding of a message. A sentence like “the book was so interesting” is clearly more convincing than just “the book was interesting”. However, specific intensifiers can go stale over time if they are overused, which means that different intensifiers are favored at different points in time.

In Present Day English, the three most frequently used intensifiers are so, really, and very, . . . → Read More: An Historical Linguistics Detective Story. This is well confusing!

German Intensifiers: The Emergence of German Variationist Sociolinguistics

Written by James Stratton ([email protected])
Purdue University, Department of Linguistics, School of Languages and Cultures

Everything in the universe has to evolve to survive, and language is no exception. As well as constantly changing, language is also rich in variability, that is, there are several ways of expressing the same thing. The fundamental idea of variationist or Labovian sociolinguistics is that variation is not random, but instead is conditioned by various linguistic and social factors. Intensification is a part of language which is constantly evolving because, as intensifiers become overused, they start to lose their intensifying or persuasive effect. Since intensifiers provide speakers with the opportunity to make their speech more persuasive, credible, and emotional, at any given point in time there are various . . . → Read More: German Intensifiers: The Emergence of German Variationist Sociolinguistics