Narrative Progression in the Short Story
A corpus stylistic approach
One of our most valuable capacities is our ability partly to predict what will come next in a text. But linguistic understanding of this remains very limited, especially in genres such as the short story where there is a staging of the clash between predictability and unpredictability. This book proposes that a matrix of narrativity-furthering textual features is crucial to the reader’s forming of expectations about how a literary story will continue to its close. Toolan uses corpus linguistic software and methods, and stylistic and narratological theory, in the course of delineating the matrix of eight parameters that he sees as crucial to creating narrative progression and expectation. The book will be of interest to stylisticians, narratologists, corpus linguists, and short story scholars.