Some may say the prosody of thoughts simply reflects their emotionality: words flowing on a sea of feeling.  But when we engage in imaginary conversations, are the feelings heard in the words independent from the communicative intention, which is to have an effect on an imagined audience? Emotional expression is calibrated in the real world – why not in the world inside our heads? This is not to say that emotions don’t exist except in the service of communicative intent, only that take away the (real or imagined) audience and it’s like the emotion isn’t landing anywhere. The emotion loses part of its raison d’etre.

When I hear the emotional inflections in thought streams, they sound like they are trying to drive a point home - to create an impression. If thoughts themselves are goal-directed, wouldn’t the emotionality that adheres to their semantic content also be goal-directed in some way?