Textplicating Iconophones

Articulatory iconic action in <i>Ulysses</i>

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This volume applies a sign-oriented approach to the description of articulatory and acoustic iconic phenomena in James Joyce’s <i>Ulysses</i>. In its hypothesis, the greater the role of sensory experience in the message of a text, the more likely it is to employ linguistic representation in articulated sounds iconically to affect sensory experience. <i>Ulysses</i> is presented as a work of art whose emphasis on sensual impression and sensory experience is reflected in the composition and distribution of its phonemes. <br />Four English phonemes are examined, each in several contexts in <i>Ulysses</i>. A systematic association of resemblance is found between the manner and effort involved in the articulation of each phoneme relative to other phonemes and sounds, and the manner in which semantic content is arranged in the scenes and themes of the book. The different emphases of semantic arrangement associated with each of the examined phonemes are maintained across diverse themes, varied scopes of reference and opposed manners of contextualization. The phonological unit is therefore perceived to carry a semantic impact to complement its differentiating role in linguistic signification. It also offers an innovative approach to <i>Ulysses</i> and exposes new semantic nuances in its narration and characterization techniques.

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Theoretical literature & literary studies; Phonology; English linguistics

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