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IX Language and literature

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  1. IX Language and literature

  2. Contents 9.1 Introduction 9.2 Literary stylistics 9.3 The language in poetry 9.4 The language in fiction 9.5 The language in drama 9.6 The cognitive approach in literature

  3. 9.1 Introduction • Stylistics: “a branch of linguistics which 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) • 1960s: formalism • 1970s: functionalism • 1980s: discourse stylistics • 1990s: socio-historial and socio-cultural stylistics • 2000 on: plural-heads development

  4. 9.2 Literary stylistics • The study of linguistic features related to literary style. • Literary vs. non-literary usage: the extent to which phonological, grammatical and semantic features of the language are salient or foregrounded in some way. • Foregrounding: the artistically motivated deviation. • Involves all levels of lg.: vocabulary, sound, syntax, meaning, graphology. Repetition • Repetition, alliteration, parallelism

  5. 9.2.1 Foregrounding and the grammatical form • Foregrounding: the device that a person uses in his or her writing in order to draw reader’s attention to the particular linguistic features that he or she is trying to feature, so as to achieve particular effect in the reader’s interpretation of the text. • 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.

  6. 9.2.2 Literal language and figurative language • Trope(修辞, 比喻): it refers to language used in a figurative way for rhetorical purpose. • Simile: a way of comparing one thing with another, of explaining what one thing is like by showing how it is similar to another thing, and it explicitly signal itself in a text, with the words like or as. • Metaphor: it makes a comparison between two unlike elements, and the comparison is implied, rather than stated.

  7. Metonymy(转喻): a change of names, to use sth that is usually connected to a thing to mean that thing. --Sceptre (节杖, 王权)and crown: king and queen --Scythe and spade: peasants and workers • Synecdoche(提喻)refers to using the name of a part of an object to mean the whole thing and vice versa. --They are short of hands. -北京,纽约,伦敦

  8. 9.2.3 The analysis of literary language • Foregrounding: lexis (morphological analysis), word order or syntax (word class, unusual or marked combination), grammatical level (structure of the sentences, verbal or nominal group ) • Deviant or marked structure of the sentences • Rewriting • Structural aspect of the meaning? Oxymoron (甜蜜的痛苦,sweet suffering) • Context or background knowledge? • Figurative language?

  9. 9.3 The language in poetry • 9.3.1 Sound patterning • Rhyme(押韵): • End rhyme: where the last word of a line has the same final sound as the last word of another line, sometimes immediately above or below, sometimes one or more lines away. Fair is foul and foul is fair Hover through wind and murky air

  10. 9.3.2 Different forms of sound patterning • Rhyme: • Alliteration(头韵): where the initial consonants are identical. Cvc—me-my, pleasure-prove • Assonance(准押韵):where syllables have the same vowel. cVc—live-with-will, come-love • Consonance (辅音韵): where syllables have the same end consonants cvC—will-all

  11. Reverse rhyme(反韵): where syllables have the same vowel and initial consonants, rather than the same vowel and the final consonants. CVc—with-will • Pararhyme (头尾韵) : where tow syllables have the same initial and final consonants but different vowels. CvC—live-love • Repetition: • Come live with me and be my love • And we will all the pleasure prove

  12. 9.3.3 Stress and metrical patterning • Stressed vs. unstressed • Metre (韵律) refers to the stress which is organized to form regular rhythms. • First of all, work out the number of the syllables in a line. • Foot (音步): the unit of metre.

  13. Types of feet • Iamb(抑扬格 ): two syllables: unstressed-stressed –and palmto palm is holy palmer’s kiss • Trochee(扬抑格):stressed-unstressed --Willows whiten, aspens quiver • Anapest(抑抑扬格): unstressed-unstressed-stressed --Without cause be he pleased, without cause be he cross

  14. Types of feet • Dactyl(扬抑抑格):stressed-unstressed-unstressed --One for the master, and one for the dame • Spondee(扬扬格): stressed-stressed --and a black-/Back gull bent like an iron barslowly • Pyrrhic (抑抑格) : unstressed-unstressed --and a black-/Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly

  15. Number of feet in a line • Dimetre (二音步) • Trimetre(三音步) • Tetrametre (四音步) • Pentameter (五音步) • Hexametre(六音步) • Heptametre(七音步) • Octametre (八音步) • For saints // have hands // that pil // grims’ hands // do touch. • Iambic pentametre

  16. 9.3.4 Conventional forms of metre and sound • At different times, different patterns are favored and become the accepted patterns of structuring poems. • Couplets (对句, 对联): • Quatrains(四行诗): • Blank verse (无韵诗,素体诗(不押韵的五音步诗行) • Sonnet(十四行诗): • Free verse((不受格律约束的)自由诗体): • Limericks(五行打油诗(一种通俗幽默短诗,有五行组成,韵式为aabba)

  17. 9.3.5 The poetic functions of sound and metre • For aesthetic pleasure • To conform to a convention/style/poetical form • To express or innovate with a form • To demonstrate technical skill and for intellectual pleasure • For emphasis or contrast • Onomatopoeia

  18. Some poems • l(al(aleaffalls)oneliness -----e.e. cummings

  19. 40-lovesmiddle aged couple playingten niswhen the game endsand theygo homethe net will stillbe between them -----Roger McGough

  20. Yield Yield. No Parking. Unlawful to Pass.Wait for Green Light.Yield.Stop.Narrow Bridge.Merging Traffic Ahead.Yield.Yield. -----Ronald Gross

  21. 9.3.6 Analysis of the poems • Information about the poem • The way the poem is structured --Layout --Number of lines --Length of lines --Regular metre --End rhyme --Other forms of sound patterning • Effect of the forms

  22. 9.4 The language in fiction

  23. 9.4.1 Fictional prose and point of view • Three levels of discourse to account for the language of fictional prose (p.223) • The fact that there are sis participants in the basic discourse structure for the novel automatically means that there are more viewpoints to be taken into account in the novel than in other genres. • I—narrator: the person who tells the story may also be a character in the fictional world of the story, relating the story after the event. --Limited and unreliable: murder and mysterious stories

  24. Third-person narrator:the narrator is not a character in the fictional world. • Schema-oriented language: viewpoint is schema-oriented. Different participants in the same situation will have different schemas (图示) related to their different viewpoints. --(被理想的学校录取了)他走在回家的路上,看着不断朝他微笑的花朵上空忙碌的小蜜蜂,憧憬着令人兴奋的未来。忽然飞来一只小鸟,快乐地对着他唱歌。

  25. Given vs New information: at the beginning of a story, we should thus be able to predict that narrative reference to everything in the fiction except items generally assumed by everyone in our culture must be new, and hence should display indefinite reference. --One evening of last 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. • Deixis(指称): to be used to indicate particular and changing viewpoint. --学生们疯狂地打成一团,突然不知谁喊了一声,教室里迅速安静下来。外面传来了高跟鞋的声音。教导主任来了。

  26. 9.4.2 Speech and thought presentation • Direct speech (直接言语) • Indirect speech (间接言语): which gives the propositional content of what the speaker said, but not the words that the speaker uses to utter the content.

  27. Narrator’s representation of speech act (叙述者对言语行为的表达):the minimalist kind of presentation, a summary of a longer piece of discourse and is more backgrounded than an IS representation would be. He thanked her many times… • Narrator’s representation of speech(叙述者对言语的表达): a sentence which merely tells us that speech occurred, and does not specify the speech acts involved: we talked for hours.

  28. Free indirect speech(自由间接思维): the form which appears to at first sight to be IS but has DS feature: and hoped he was better. • The child said that she hoped he was better. • The child hoped he was better. • The child said, “I hope you are better”

  29. (1)He thanked her many times(NRSA), 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(IS), and hoped he was better(FIS). • (3) “No, “ rejoined the schoolmaster, shaking his head sorrowfully, “No better. (4) They even say he is worse.”(DS) • The child asked how he was, and hoped that he was better. • The child asked how he was, and said that she hoped that he was better.

  30. Thought presentation • NRT: He spent the day thinking. • NRSA: She considered his unpunctuality. • IT:She though that he would be late. • FIT:He was bound to be late! • DT: “He will be late”, she thought. • Direct thought: used for presenting conscious, deliberate thought, for representing imaginary conversation which characters have with themselves or others.

  31. Free indirect thought • Effect: it makes us feel closer to the character, almost inside his head as he thinks, and sympathize with his viewpoint. (p. 228) • However, with FIS we feel distant from the speaker. • The difference comes from the norm we assume for speech and thought.

  32. 9.4.3 Prose style • Authorial style: a way of writing which recognizably belongs to a particular writer. It distinguishes one author’s writing from another and is recognizable across a range of texts written by the same writer, regardless of topics, purposes or themes. • Text style looks closely at how linguistic choices help to construct textual meaning. And when we examine text style we will need to examine linguistic choices which are intrinsically connected with meaning and effects on the reader.

  33. 9.4.4 How to analyze the language of fiction • Lexis • Grammatical organization • Textual organization • Foregrounded features • Style variation • Discourse patterns • Viewpoint manipulation

  34. 9.5 The language in drama • Play on the page and play on the stage. • Which one is easier for analysis? • Why?

  35. 9.5.1 How should we analyze drama? • Drama as poetry • Drama as fiction: character and plot lack the narrative voice (chorus)

  36. Drama as conversation: emphasis on verbal interaction, and the way relationship between people are constructed and negotiated through what they say. • This is where linguistics really comes into its own, since there is an enormous amount of work on what people do when they talk, and on how communication and miscommunication occur. --Text can be better understood --Understand how conversation works --Skills of the playwright --Things not found in other genres.

  37. 9.5.2 Analyzing dramatic language • Turn quantity (话轮质量)and length: how much a character talks can be indicative of either their relative importance in the play, or of how important they appear to think they are. Generally, central characters talks more and longer. • Exchange sequence:two-part exchanges Greeting—greeting, question-answer, request—response, invitation-acceptance/refusal

  38. Production error: some deliberate hesitation can be used to convey sth about the character –that they are distracted, or uncertain, or shy, or confused or embarrassed. • The cooperative principle: • status marked through language: solidarity and power: language can be used to signal to what extent relationship between an addresser and addressee is based on a social power difference, and to what extent it is based on solidarity. How people address one another usually signals where they perceive themselves to be socially in relation to their addressee: their equal, or their social inferior or superior.

  39. Register(语域): the term to describe the relationship between a particular style of language and its context of use. • Legal context • Speech and silence: male—female contrast • virtue of silence • How to analyze dramatic text? (p.236)

  40. 9.6 The cognitive approach to literature. • Theoretical background: some of the cognitive tools have been applied to the analysis of literature since the 1980s. The cognitive approach focuses on the cognitive structure and process of the linguistic choices in literature. • An example of cognitive analysis

  41. 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?

  42. Why attractive? • Going • Center-periphery schema:the perspective, or the ego • IN-OUT schema: Point of departure: from here to there • Source-path-goal schema: it has to go along sth, and to somewhere • Tells us the trajectory, but not destination

  43. Figure(trajectory)-ground(landmark) • Evening(figure)—across(path)—fields (ground) • Come: OUT-IN: (source?)—fields—(speaker?) • Where does it come from? Who does it come to? • Clash: going—coming • IN-OUT—OUT-IN • Receiving is sth positive, but here: Silken it seems at a distance, yet When it is drawn up over the knees and breast It brings no comfort.

  44. Evening is in motion, and it does not go, but comes. • At a distance—drawn up—the knees and breast • SOURCE-PATH-GOAL • GOOD IS UP(structural metaphor): • Drawn up is supposed to be good, but it brings no comfort. • BAD IS DOWN (structural metaphor) : what loads my hands down? • DEATH IS DOWN (structural metaphor).

  45. What or who is going? • LIFE IS A CIRCLE. • Going-coming

  46. Summary • Foregrounding • Simile, Metaphor, Metonymy,synecdoche • Sound patterning(rhyme,stress, metre, foot) • NRS(Narrator’s representation of speech), NRSA (Narrator’s representation of speech act), IS (Indirect speech), FIS (Free indirect speech), DS(Direct speech) • NRT,NRTA,IT,FIT,DT