Krachtige taal | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



In recent decades, language intensity, intensification and intensifiers are studied in different research fields: in descriptive linguistics, evaluative literature, social psychology and text analytical discourse studies. However, questions raise about the interpretations researchers in those fields have regarding language intensity: their concepts are diverse. First, it is questionable what kind of utterances are strengthened through language intensity: evaluative or descriptive utterances. Secondly, there are differences between the studies whether language intensity only contain strengthening or also weakening elements. Thirdly, the amount in which the meaning of an utterance changes through language intensity is debatable. Lastly, language intensity studies differ in the linguistic elements that are considered as intensifying elements. In this literature review, the research traditions are compared: how is language intensification studied in various fields, where do they contribute and where are the bottlenecks? This article concludes with a proposal for a unified approach to language intensity, intensification and intensifiers as a stylistic phenomenon, in order to carry out more systematic research on this topic in the future.


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