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Chapter 9 Language and Literature


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Title: Chapter 9 Language and Literature

Chapter 9Language and Literature
1. Style and Stylistics
  • Style variation in the language use of an
    individual, such as formal/informal style
  • Literary style ways of writing employed in
    literature and by individual writers the way the
    mind of the author expresses itself in words

  • Stylistics studies the features of situationally
    distinctive uses (varieties) of language, and
    tries to establish principles capable of
    accounting for the particular choices made by
    individual and social groups in their use of
    language. (Crystal 1980)

  • Stylistics is the study of varieties of language
    whose properties position that language in
    context. For example, the language of
    advertising, politics, religion, individual
    authors, etc., or the language of a period in
    time, all belong in a particular situation. In
    other words, they all have place.

  • Stylistics also attempts to establish principles
    capable of explaining the particular choices made
    by individuals and social groups in their use of
    language, such as socialisation, the production
    and reception of meaning, critical discourse
    analysis and literary criticism.

  • Other features of stylistics include the use of
    dialogue, including regional accents and peoples
    dialects, descriptive language, the use of
    grammar, such as the active voice or passive
    voice, the distribution of sentence lengths, the
    use of particular language registers, etc.

  • Many linguists do not like the term stylistics.
    The word style, itself, has several
    connotations that make it difficult for the term
    to be defined accurately.
  • However, in Linguistic Criticism, Roger Fowler
    makes the point that, in non-theoretical usage,
    the word stylistics makes sense and is useful in
    referring to an enormous range of literary
    contexts, such as John Miltons grand style,
    the prose style of Henry James, the epic and
    ballad style of classical Greek literature,
    etc. (Fowler, 1996 185).

  • In addition, stylistics is a distinctive term
    that may be used to determine the connections
    between the form and effects within a particular
    variety of language.
  • Therefore, stylistics looks at what is going on
    within the language what the linguistic
    associations are that the style of language

  • Literary Stylistics Crystal (1987) observes
    that, in practice, most stylistic analysis has
    attempted to deal with the complex and valued
    language within literature, i.e. literary
  • The scope is sometimes narrowed to concentrate on
    the more striking features of literary language,
    for instance, its deviant and abnormal
    features, rather than the broader structures that
    are found in whole texts or discourses.
  • For example, the compact language of poetry is
    more likely to reveal the secrets of its
    construction to the stylistician than is the
    language of plays and novels.

Levels of analysis
  • Sound effects
  • Vocabulary
  • Phraseology
  • Grammar
  • Implicature

2. Foregrounding
  • The 1960 dream of high rise living soon turned
    into a nightmare.

  • Four storeys have no windows left to smash
  • But in the fifth a chipped sill buttresses
  • Mother and daughter the last mistresses
  • Of that black block condemned to stand, not

  • The red-haired woman, smiling, waving to the
    disappearing shore. She left the maharajah she
    left innumerable other lights o passing love in
    towns and cities and theatres and railway
    stations all over the world. But Melchior she did
    not leave.

2.1 What is foregrounding?
  • In a purely linguistic sense, the term
    foregrounding is used to refer to new
    information, in contrast to elements in the
    sentence which form the background against which
    the new elements are to be understood by the
    listener / reader.

  • In the wider sense of stylistics, text
    linguistics, and literary studies, it is a
    translation of the Czech aktualisace
    (actualization), a term common with the Prague
  • In this sense it has become a spatial metaphor
    that of a foreground and a background, which
    allows the term to be related to issues in
    perception psychology, such as figure / ground

  • The English term foregrounding has come to mean
    several things at once
  • the (psycholinguistic) processes by which -
    during the reading act - something may be given
    special prominence
  • specific devices (as produced by the author)
    located in the text itself. It is also employed
    to indicate the specific poetic effect on the
  • an analytic category in order to evaluate
    literary texts, or to situate them historically,
    or to explain their importance and cultural
    significance, or to differentiate literature from
    other varieties of language use, such as everyday
    conversations or scientific reports.

  • Thus the term covers a wide area of meaning.
  • This may have its advantages, but may also be
    problematic which of the above meanings is
    intended must often be deduced from the context
    in which the term is used.

2.2 Devices of Foregrounding
  • Outside literature, language tends to be
    automatized its structures and meanings are used
  • Within literature, however, this is opposed by
    devices which thwart the automatism with which
    language is read, processed, or understood.
  • Generally, two such devices may be distinguished,
    deviation and parallelism.

  • Deviation corresponds to the traditional idea of
    poetic license the writer of literature is
    allowed - in contrast to the everyday speaker -
    to deviate from rules, maxims, or conventions.
  • These may involve the language, as well as
    literary traditions or expectations set up by the
    text itself.
  • The result is some degree of surprise in the
    reader, and his / her attention is thereby drawn
    to the form of the text itself (rather than to
    its content).
  • Cases of neologism, live metaphor, or
    ungrammatical sentences, as well as archaisms,
    paradox, and oxymoron (the traditional tropes)
    are clear examples of deviation.

  • Devices of parallelism are characterized by
    repetitive structures (part of) a verbal
    configuration is repeated (or contrasted),
    thereby being promoted into the foreground of the
    reader's perception.
  • Traditional handbooks of poetics and rhetoric
    have surveyed and described (under the category
    of figures of speech) a wide variety of such
    forms of parallelism, e.g., rhyme, assonance,
    alliteration, meter, semantic symmetry, or

3. Literal language and figurative language
  • Friends, Romans and Countrymen, lend me your
  • Anthony in Shakespeares
  • Julius Caesar

3.1 Simile
  • O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
  • Thats newly sprung in June
  • O, my luve is like the melodie
  • Thats sweetly playd in tune.
  • Robert Burns
  • (1759-96)

3.2 Metaphor
  • All the worlds a stage,
  • And all the men and women merely players
  • They have their exits and their entrances.
  • And one man in his time plays many parts,
  • His acts being seven ages
  • William Shakespeare
  • (1564-1616)

3.3 Metonymy
  • There is no armour against fate
  • Death lays his icy hand on kings
  • Sceptre and Crown
  • Must tumble down
  • And in the dust be equal made
  • With the poor crooked Scythe and Spade.
  • James Shirley (1596-1666)

3.4 Synecdoche
  • They were short of hands at harvest time. (part
    for whole)
  • Have you any coppers? (material for thing made)
  • He is a poor creature. (genus for species)
  • He is the Newton of this century. (individual for

  • Name the kind of trope
  • The boy was as cunning as a fox.
  • ...the innocent sleep,... the death of each day's
    life,... (Shakespeare)
  • Buckingham Palace has already been told the train
    may be axed when the rail network has been
    privatised. (Daily Mirror, 2 February 1993)
  • Ted Dexter confessed last night that England are
    in a right old spin as to how they can beat India
    this winter. (Daily Mirror, 2 February 1993)

4. Analysis of literary language
  • Foregrounding on the level of lexis
  • Foregrounding on the level of syntax word order,
    word groups, deviant or marked structures
  • Rewriting for comparative studies
  • Meaning
  • Context
  • Figurative language

5. The language of poetry
  • Little Bo-peep
  • Has lost her sheep
  • And doesnt know where to find them
  • Leave them alone
  • And they will come home
  • Waggling their tails behind them

Fair is foul and foul is fairHover through wind
and murky air
  • Hark! The herald angels sing
  • Glory to the newborn King!

Long burned hair brushesAcross my face its
spiderSilk. I smell lavenderCinnamon my
mothers clothes.
5.1 Forms of sound patterning
  • Rhyme
  • Alliteration
  • Assonance
  • Consonance
  • Reverse rhyme
  • Pararhyme
  • Repetition

  • Rhyme
  • two words rhyme if their final stressed vowel and
    all following sounds are identical
  • two lines of poetry rhyme if their final strong
    positions are filled with rhyming words.
  • Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
  • Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
  • All the kings horses and all the kings men
  • Couldnt put Humpty together again

(No Transcript)
  • Alliteration repetition of the initial consonant
    of a word
  • Magazine articles Science has Spoiled my
    Supper and Too Much Talent in Tennessee?
  • Comic/cartoon characters Beetle Bailey, Donald
  • Restaurants Coffee Corner, Sushi Station
  • Expressions busy as a bee, dead as a doornail,
    good as gold, right as rain, etc...
  • Music Blackalicious' Alphabet Aerobics

  • Assonance Repetition of vowel sounds to create
    internal rhyming within phrases or sentences
  • The sound of the ground is a noun.
  • Hear the mellow wedding bells. (Poe)
  • And murmuring of innumerable bees (Tennyson)
  • The crumbling thunder of seas (Stevenson)
  • That solitude which suits abstruser musings
  • Dead in da middle of little Italy, little did
  • we know that we riddled some middle men
  • who didn't do diddily. (Big Pun)

  • Consonance The repetition of two or more
    consonants using different vowels within words.
  • All mammals named Sam are clammy
  • And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each
    purple curtain (Poe)
  • Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile /
    Whether jew or gentile I rank top percentile.
    (Hip-hop music)

  • Reverse rhyme C V C
  • Coca-Cola Hoola hoops
  • Such storms can bring you to the brink of all you
    fearRestore what faith you can in faded hopes
    and feel
  • Pararhyme (Frame rhyme) C V C
  • Each sturdy steed-like soldier ranked the
    fieldWith fearsome faces seldom seen defiled
  • Rich Rhyme C V C
  • What does it avail you to prevail in every
    affairWhen nothing youve gained can be regained
    as spiritual fare

  • Repetition
  • Words, words, words. (Hamlet)
  • This, it seemed to him, was the end, the end of
    a world as he had known it... (James Oliver
  • We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on
    the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields
    and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills
    we shall never surrender. (Winston Churchill)
  • What lies behind us and what lies before us are
    tiny compared to what lies within us. (Ralph
    Waldo Emerson)

5.2 Stress patterning
  • Iamb 2 syllables, unstressed stressed
  • Trochee 2 syllables, stressed unstressed
  • Anapest 3 syllables, 2 unstressed stressed
  • Dactyl 3 syllables, stressed 2 unstressed
  • Spondee 2 stressed syllables
  • Pyrrhic 2 unstressed syllables

5.3 Metrical patterning
  • Dimetre 2 feet
  • Trimetre 3 feet
  • Tetrametre 4 feet
  • Pentametre 5 feet
  • Hexametre 6 feet
  • Heptametre 7 feet
  • Octametre 8 feet

5.4 Conventional forms of metre and sound
  • Couplets a pair of lines of verse, usually
    connected by a rhyme. It consists of two lines
    that usually rhyme and have the same meter.
  • Whan that Aprille, with hise shoures soote,The
    droghte of March hath perced to the rooteAnd
    bathed every veyne in swich licour,Of which
    vertu engendred is the flour(from Geoffrey
    Chaucer Canterbury Tales General Prologue)

  • Quatrains Stanzas of four lines
  • Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
  • In the forests of the night,
  • What immortal hand or eye
  • Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
  • (from William Blake, The Tyger)

  • Blank verse lines in iambic pentametre which do
    not rhyme
  • Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and
  • And ye that on the sands with printless foot
  • Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him
  • When he comes back you demi-puppets that
  • By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make
  • Whereof the ewe not bites and you whose pastime
  • Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice
  • To hear the solemn curfew by whose aid,
  • Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimmed
  • The noontide sun, called forth the mutinous
  • And 'twixt the green sea and the azured vault
  • Set roaring war - to the dread rattling thunder
  • Have I given fire, and rifted Jove's stout oak
  • With his own bolt...
  • (from Shakespeare The Tempest, 5.1)

  • Sonnet The term sonnet derives from the
    Provençal word sonet and the Italian word
    sonetto, both meaning little song. By the
    thirteenth century, it had come to signify a poem
    of fourteen lines that follows a strict rhyme
    scheme and specific structure.
  • One of the most well known sonnet writers is
    Shakespeare, who wrote 154 sonnets.
  • The proper rhyme scheme for an English Sonnet is
    a-b-a-b / c-d-c-d / e-f-e-f / g-g

  • Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    (a)Admit impediments, love is not love (b)Which
    alters when it alteration finds, (a)Or bends
    with the remover to remove. (b)O no, it is an
    ever fixed mark (c)That looks on tempests and is
    never shaken (d)It is the star to every
    wand'ring bark, (c)Whose worth's unknown
    although his height be taken. (d)Love's not
    time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    (e)Within his bending sickle's compass come,
    (f)Love alters not with his brief hours and
    weeks, (e)But bears it out even to the edge of
    doom (f) If this be error and upon me
    proved, (g) I never writ, nor no man ever
    loved. (g)
  • (Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 )

  • ROMEO If I profane with my unworthiest hand
  • This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this
  • My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
  • To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
  • JULIET Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too
  • Which mannerly devotion shows in this
  • For saints have hands that pilgrims hands do
  • And palm to palm is holy palmers kiss.
  • ROMEO Have not saints lips, and holy palmers
  • JULIET Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in
  • ROMEO O, then, dear saint, let lips do what
    hands do
  • They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to
  • JULIET Saints do not move, though grant for
    prayers sake.
  • ROMEO Then move not, while my prayers effect I
  • (from Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet)

  • Free verse styles of poetry that are not written
    using strict meter or rhyme, but that still are
    recognizable as poetry by virtue of complex
    patterns of one sort or another that readers will
    perceive to be part of a coherent whole.
  • The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the
    window-panes,The yellow smoke that rubs its
    muzzle on the window-panesLicked its tongue into
    the corners of the evening,Lingered upon the
    pools that stand in drains,Let fall upon its
    back the soot that falls from chimneys,Slipped
    by the terrace, made a sudden leap,And seeing
    that it was a soft October night,Curled once
    about the house, and fell asleep.(from T. S.
    Eliot The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)

  • Limericks
  • The word derives from the Irish town of Limerick.
    Apparently a pub song or tavern chorus based on
    the refrain Will you come up to Limerick?
    where, of course, such bawdy songs or Limericks
    were sung.
  • Limericks consist of five anapaestic lines.
  • Lines 1, 2, and 5 of Limericks have seven to ten
    syllables and rhyme with one another.
  • Lines 3 and 4 of Limericks have five to seven
    syllables and also rhyme with each other.

  • Variants of the form of poetry referred to as
    Limerick poems can be traced back to the
    fourteenth century English history.
  • Limericks were used in Nursery Rhymes and other
    poems for children.
  • But as limericks were short, relatively easy to
    compose and bawdy or sexual in nature they were
    often repeated by beggars or the working classes
    in the British pubs and taverns of the fifteenth,
    sixteenth and seventh centuries.
  • The poets who created these limericks were
    therefore often drunkards! Limericks were also
    referred to as dirty.

  • Limerick poems have received incredibly bad press
    and dismissed as not having a rightful place
    amongst what is seen as cultivated poetry. The
    reason for this is three-fold
  • The content of many limericks is often of a bawdy
    and humorous nature.
  • A Limerick as a poetry form is by nature simple
    and short limericks only have five lines.
  • And finally the somewhat dubious history of
    limericks have contributed to the critics

Limericks by Edward Lear
  • There was an Old Man with a beard,Who said, It
    is just as I feared!Two Owls and a Hen,Four
    Larks and a Wren,Have all built their nests in
    my beard!

  • There was a Young Lady whose chin,Resembled the
    point of a pinSo she had it made sharp,And
    purchased a harp,And played several tunes with
    her chin.

5.5 The poetic functions of sound and metre
  • Aesthetic pleasure
  • Conforming to a form
  • Expressing/innovating with a form
  • Demonstrating skill, intellectual pleasure
  • For emphasis or contrast
  • Onomatopoeia

5.6 The analysis of poetry
  • Info about the poem poet, period, genre, topic,
  • Structure layout, number of lines, length of
    lines, metre, rhymes, sound effects, etc. plus
  • general comment on the poem

Easter Wings, by George Herbert (15931663)
  • Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
  • Though foolishly he lost the same,
  • Decaying more and more,
  • Till he became Most poore
  • With thee
  • O let me rise
  • As larks, harmoniously,
  • And sing this day thy victories
  • Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

E. E. Cummings (1894-1962)
  • l(a
  • le
  • af
  • fa
  • ll
  • s)
  • one
  • l
  • iness

  • r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r                       wh
    o   a)s w(e loo)k   upnowgath
                          eringint(o-   aThe)l
                 eA                  !p
             a                           (r
      rIvInG                         .gRrEaPsPhOs)
            to   rea(be)rran(com)gi(e)ngly

6. The language of fiction
  • From realism to modernism

6.1 Modernist literature
  • Modernist literature is defined by its move away
    from Romanticism, venturing into subject matter
    that is traditionally mundane--a prime example
    being The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.
    S. Eliot.
  • Modernist literature often features a marked
    pessimism, a clear rejection of the optimism
    apparent in Victorian literature.

  • A common motif in Modernist fiction is that of an
    alienated individual--a dysfunctional individual
    trying in vain to make sense of a predominantly
    urban and fragmented society.
  • However, many Modernist works like T. S. Eliot's
    The Waste Land are marked by the absence of a
    central, heroic figure.

  • Modernist literature transcends the limitations
    of the Realist novel with its concern for larger
    factors such as social or historical change this
    is largely demonstrated in stream of
    consciousness writing.
  • Examples can be seen in Virginia Woolf's Kew
    Gardens and Mrs Dalloway, James Joyce's Portrait
    of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses, William
    Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and others.

  • Modernism as a literary movement is seen, in
    large part, as a reaction to the emergence of
    city life as a central force in society.
  • Many Modernist works are studied in schools
    today, from Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and
    the Sea, to T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, to
    James Joyce's Ulysses and A Portrait of the
    Artist as a Young Man.

It had been an easy birth, but then for Abel and
Zaphia Rosnovski nothing had ever been easy, and
in their own ways they had both become
philosophical about that. Abel had wanted a son,
an heir who would one day be chairman of the
Baron Group. By the time the boy was ready to
take over, Abel was confident that his own name
would stand alongside those of Ritz and Statler
and by then the Baron would be the largest hotel
group in the world.
Abel had paced up and down the colourless
corridor of St. Lukes Hospital waiting for the
first cry, his slight limp becoming more
pronounced as each hour passed. Occasionally he
twisted the silver band that encircled his wrist
and stared at the name so neatly engraved on it.
He turned and retraced his steps once again, to
see Doctor Dodek heading towards him.
Jeffrey Archer The Prodigal Daughter
There is the Hart of the Wud in the Eusa Story
that wer a stage every 1 knows that. There is the
hart of the wood meaning the veryes deap of it
thats a nother thing. There is the hart of the
wood where they bern the chard coal thats a
nother thing agen innit. Thats a nother thing.
Berning the chard coal in the hart of the wood.
Thats what they call the stack of wood you see.
The stack of wood in the shape they do it for
chard coal berning. Why do they call it the hart
tho? Thats what this here story tels of.
Russell Hoban Ridley Walker
  • Sir Tristram, violer damores, frover the short
    sea, had passen-core rearrived from North
    Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of
    Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war
    nor had topsawyers rocks by the stream Oconee
    exaggerated themselse to Laurens Countys gorgios
    while they went doublin their mumper all the
    time nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe
    to tauftauf thuartpeatrick not yet, though
    venissoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland
    old isaac not yet, though alls fair in vanessy,
    were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe.
    Rot a peck of pas malt had Jhem or Shen brewed
    by arclight and rory end to the regginbrow was to
    be seen ringsome on the aquaface.

  • The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbron
    hoordenenthur nuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr
    is retaled early in bed and later on life down
    through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall
    of the offwall entailed at such short notice the
    pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the
    humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an
    unquiring one well to the west in quest of his
    tumptytumtoes and their upturnpikepointandplace
    is at the knock out in the park where oranges
    have been laid to rust upon the green since
    dev-linsfirst loved livvy.
  • (from James Joyce Finnegans Wake)

6.2 Fictional prose and point of view
  • I-narrators
  • Third-person narrators
  • Schema-oriented language
  • Given vs New information
  • Deixis

  • Schema-oriented language different participants
    in the same situation will have different
    schemas, related to their different viewpoints.
  • Shopkeepers and their customers will have shop
    schemas which in many respects will be mirror
    images of one another, and the success of
    shopkeepers will depend in part on their being
    able to take into account the schemas and points
    of view of their customers.

  • Morley railway station from viewpoint of Fanny
  • She opened the door of her grimy, branch-line
    carriage, and began to get down her bags. The
    porter was nowhere, of course, but there was
    Harry... There, on the sordid little station
    under the furnaces... (D. H. Lawrence Fanny and
  • ? unfavorable.

  • Given vs New information narrative reference to
    everything in the fiction except items generally
    assumed by everyone in our culture (e.g. the sun)
    must be new, and hence should display indefinite
  • One evening of late summer, before the nineteenth
    century had reached one third of its span, a
    young man and woman, the latter carrying a child,
    were approaching the large village of
    Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot. (Thomas
    Hardy The Mayor of Casterbidge)

  • Deixis reference by means of an expression whose
    interpretation is relative to the (usually)
    extralinguistic context of the utterance, such as
  • who is speaking
  • the time or place of speaking
  • the gestures of the speaker, or
  • the current location in the discourse.
  • Examples of deictic expressions in English 
  • I, You, Now, There, That, The following,
  • Tenses

  • Because deixis is speaker-related it can easily
    be used to indicate particular, and changing,
  • Mr Verloc heard the creaky plank in the floor and
    was content. He waited.
  • Mrs. Verloc was coming.

6.3 Speech presentation
  • Direct speech (DS)
  • Free indirect speech (FIS)
  • Indirect speech (IS)
  • Narrators representation of speech acts (NRSA)
  • Narrators representation of speech (NRS)

  • (1) He thanked her many times, and said that the
    old dame who usually did such offices for him had
    gone to nurse the little scholar whom he had told
    her of. (2) The child asked how he was,and hoped
    he was better. (3) No, rejoined the
    schoolmaster, shaking his head sorrowfully, No
    better. (4) They even say he is worse. (Charles
    Dickens The Old Curiosity Shop )

6.4 Thought presentation
  • Narrators representation of thought (NRT)
  • Narrators representation of thought acts (NRTA)
  • Indirect thought (IT)
  • Free indirect thought (FIT)
  • Direct thought (DT)
  • Stream of consciousness

  • He will be late, she thought. (DT)
  • She thought that he would be late. (IT)
  • He was bound to be late! (FIT)
  • He spent the day thinking. (NRT)
  • She considered his unpunctuality. (NRTA)

He will be late
  • Stream of consciousness
  • Filthy shells. Devil to open them too. Who found
    them out? Garbage, sewage they feed on. Fizz and
    Red bank oysters. Effect on the sexual. Aphrodis.
    (sic) He was in the Red bank this morning. Was he
    oyster old fish at table. Perhaps he young flesh
    in bed. No. June has no ar (sic) no oysters. But
    there are people like tainted game. Jugged hare.
    First catch your hare. Chinese eating eggs fifty
    years old, blue and green again. Dinner of thirty
    courses. Each dish harmless might mix inside.
    Idea for a poison mystery. (James Joyce Ulysses )

6.5 Prose style
  • Authorial style way of writing recognizable
    across a range of texts written by the same
  • Text style linguistic choices which are
    intrinsically connected with meaning and effect
    on the reader
  • Text style of a book
  • Text style of a writer

6.6 Analyzing the language of fiction
  • Lexis/vocabulary
  • Grammatical organization
  • Textual organization
  • Figures of speech
  • Style variation
  • Discoursal patterning
  • Viewpoint manipulation

7. The language of drama
  • Drama as poetry
  • Drama as fiction
  • Drama as conversation

7.1 Analyzing dramatic language
  • Turn quantity and length
  • Exchange sequence
  • Production errors
  • The cooperative principle
  • Status marked through language
  • Register
  • Speech and silence

  • Turn Because conversations need to be organised,
    there are rules or principles for establishing
    who talks and then who talks next. This process
    is called turn-taking.
  • Two guiding principles in conversations
  • Only one person should talk at a time.
  • We cannot have silence.
  • The transition between one speaker and the next
    must be as smooth as possible and without a

  • Ways of indicating that a turn will be changed
  • Formal methods for example, selecting the next
    speaker by name or raising a hand.
  • Adjacency pairs for instance, a question
    requires an answer.
  • Intonation for instance, a drop in pitch or in
  • Gesture for instance, a change in sitting
    position or an expression of inquiry.
  • The most important device for indicating
    turn-taking is through a change in gaze

  • The rules of turn-taking are designed to help
    conversation take place smoothly. Interruptions
    in a conversation are violations of the
    turn-taking rule.
  • Interruption where a new speaker interrupts and
    gains the floor.
  • Butting in where a new speaker tries to gain the
    floor but does not succeed.
  • Overlaps where two speakers are talking at the
    same time.

  • Minimal responses Responses such as mmmm and
  • These are not interruptions but rather are
    devices to show the listener is listening, and
    they assist the speaker to continue.
  • They are especially important in telephone
    conversations where the speaker cannot see the
    listener's eyes and hence must rely on verbal
    cues to tell whether the listener is paying

  • There is some evidence that women tend to use
    minimal responses more than men, and this is a
    possible reason why, in mixed conversations, men
    talk more than women. With the encouragement of
    these minimal responses, men often continue to
    talk, and without the encouragement of these
    minimal responses, many women will stop talking.

  • Story-telling within a conversation is indicated
    by some kind of preface. This is a signal to the
    listener that for the duration of the story,
    there will be no turn-taking.
  • Once the story has finished, the normal sequence
    of turn-taking can resume.
  • Young children, in learning about this
    convention, have to be asked not to interrupt
    when someone is telling a story within a

7.2 Analyzing dramatic texts
  • Paraphrasing
  • Commentating
  • Words
  • Grammar
  • Meaning
  • Conversation
  • Using theories

8. The cognitive approach to literature
  • Going
  • There is an evening coming in
  • Across the fields, one never seen before,
  • That lights no lamps.
  • Silken it seems at a distance, yet
  • When it is drawn up over the knees and breast
  • It brings no comfort.
  • Where has the tree gone, that locked
  • Earth to the sky? What is under my hands,
  • That I cannot feel?
  • What loads my hands down?

Cognitive analysis
  • What are the main attractors at the beginning of
    the poem?
  • What is the figure (trajectory) and ground
    (landmark) in the first two stanzas?
  • Based on the above, what then, or who, is going?

  • See Textbook, pp. 237-240, for a detailed
    analysis of the poem Going.
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