ⓘ Guiltive

                                     

ⓘ Guiltive

The guiltive is a term introduced by John Haiman for the speaker attitude whereby the speaker overtly presents him- or herself as generous or indifferent but actually means the opposite of what he or she is saying, with the intention of making the addressee feel guilty.

The guiltive is similar to sarcasm: in both, the speakers ostensible message is accompanied by a derived metamessage "This message is bogus." In sarcasm this is overtly marked by the speaker for example, using intonation or caricatured formality, whereas in the guiltive it is instead "left to be supplied by the addressee, who is thereby made to feel like a worm." The fact that the speaker still sounds sincere albeit known not to be suggests an affinity with polite language. But unlike politeness, the purpose of which is to avoid aggression, the guiltive is a form of passive-aggressiveness intended to make the listener feel bad.

The name "guiltive" is formed with the -ive suffix, which is commonly used for the names of grammatical moods. But as with sarcasm, no language has been found to have grammaticalized it.

                                     

1. Bibliography

  • Haiman, John 1995. "Moods and MetaMessages. Alieanation as a Mood". In Bybee, Joan L.; Fleischman, Suzanne eds. Modality in grammar and discourse. Typological studies in language, v. 32. Amsterdam ; Philadelphia: JBenjamins. pp. 329–344. ISBN 978-1-55619-639-3.
  • Haspelmath, Martin 1998. "Review of Modality in Grammar and Discourse, ed. by Joan Bybee and Suzanne Fleischman". Linguistic Typology. 2 1: 125–139. doi:10.1515/lity.1998.2.1.125.
  • Haiman, John 1998. "Sarcasm and its neighbors". Talk is cheap: sarcasm, alienation, and the evolution of language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-511524-6. Contains an abridged version of Haiman 1995.
  • Bybee, Joan L.; Fleischman, Suzanne 1995. "Introduction". Modality in grammar and discourse. Typological studies in language, v. 32. Amsterdam ; Philadelphia: JBenjamins. pp. 1–14. ISBN 978-1-55619-639-3.