Expressing Surprise A Cross-Linguistic Description of Mirativity

  • Renzo Mocini Università La Sapienza, Roma


As I have argued elsewhere (Mocini 2009; 2011; 2013), emotions play a decisive role in
promotional discourse. The power of logical argument may not be sufficient to
convince customers. For this reason, writers or speakers usually appeal to the
audience’s emotional response to achieve persuasion. Ekman (1999) claims that
surprise is one of the basic universal emotions, and only the basic emotions are the
real emotions.1 Following DeLancey (1997; 2001) and other researchers (Dickinson
2000; Aikhenvald 2004; Peterson 2010, 2013), we use the term mirativity to refer to the
semantic category employed to mark the fact that some information is new or

Biografia autore

Renzo Mocini, Università La Sapienza, Roma

Renzo Mocini is a Researcher in English Language at the Faculty of Medicine and
Dentistry, Sapienza University of Rome. His major interests include language teaching,
ESP, Discourse Analysis and Translation Studies. He is the author of the monograph La
comunicazione turistica. Strategie promozionali e traduttive (2011), Sette Città. He has
recently published Communicating Findings. A Functional Analysis of a Medical Research
Article (2013), in “AION. Sezione linguistica”; Lessico promozionale dell'inglese turistico
(2013), in “Lend. Lingua e Nuova Didattica”; The promotional functionality of evaluative
language in tourism discourse (2013), in “Lingue e Linguaggi”.

Come citare
Mocini, Renzo. 2014. «Expressing Surprise A Cross-Linguistic Description of Mirativity». Altre Modernità, n. 11 (maggio), 136-56.
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