International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, Vol 5, No 2 (1998)

Threatening Revisited

Bruce Fraser
Issued Date: 7 Feb 2007


This paper considers the act of verbal threatening. I first examine what constitutes a verbal threat, concluding that it involves conveying both the intention to perform an act that the addressee will view unfavourably and the intention to intimidate the addressee. I then compare threatening to promising and warning, and I examine the ways in which a speaker may issue a threat, given that one can never guarantee success in threatening. Finally, I look at the multitude of factors that must be considered if one is to conclude that a serious threat was made.

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DOI: 10.1558/sll.1998.5.2.159


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