1887

Corpus Stylistics as Contextual Prosodic Theory and Subtext

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Abstract

The volume presents Louw's Contextual Prosodic Theory from its beginnings to its newest applications. It journeys from delexicalisation and relexicalisation into Semantic Prosody and then to the heart of its contextual requirements within collocation and the thinking of J.R. Firth. Once there, it moves much of Firth’s and Malinowski’s thinking into a computational method based upon the ability of language to govern and analyse itself using collocation to plot its scope and limits. With the assistance of analytic philosophy, it parts logic (grammar) from metaphysics (vocabulary) along the lines of a non-computational formula of Bertrand Russell, and so falsifies the major premise of the Vienna Circle using its own central tenet: the Principle of Verification. Having arrived at corpus-derived subtext (the semantic aura of grammar strings, as distinguished from Semantic Prosody), the second half of the book proceeds to verify the theory on Slavic languages. The focus is on the poet Alexander Pushkin, whose authorial intention becomes computationally recoverable. Prose is handled on samples authored by David Lodge, where authorial (in)sincerity (Louw 1993) is viewed on a cline of inspiration and quality of discourse. Other applications in the volume include studies on translation, negotiation, humour, and the reception of CPT.

Subjects: Theoretical literature & literary studies; Corpus linguistics; Pragmatics; Functional linguistics; Writing and literacy; Discourse studies

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References

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