Linguistic Intensification and its Role in Interlingual Translation of Speech Acts between English and Arabic

Ali Abdullah Mahmood


This paper tries to answer two questions: first, how far do intensifiers in English have the capability to fulfill linguistic intensification in order to achieve the communicative action between the speaker and the listener? Second, to what extent do linguistic characteristics of intensifiers influence translation of locutions of linguistic intensification carrying certain speech acts between English and Arabic? In relation to 'hyperbole' as one form of linguistic intensification, English and Arabic do not show similar attitudes in expressing their hyperbolic forms though in certain cases they achieve similar functions of exaggeration. The transferring of these intensifiers within the locutions of speech acts is intensely adding some new meaning to the communicative structure being conveyed from the source language to the target language. These intensifiers are intrinsic pragmatic bearers of 'genuine'  speech acts as 'impressing', 'insulting', 'persuading' and 'praising' which can be entirely fathomed if the macro-illocutionary force of the communicative utterance is thoroughly evaluated and recognized.

Keywords: linguistic intensification, interlingual speech acts, English, Arabic

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