Volume 29, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article approaches fictionality as a set of semiotic strategies prototypically associated with fictional forms of storytelling (Hatavara & Mildorf, 2017b). Whilst these strategies are strongly associated with fiction, they might also be used in non-fictional and ontologically ambivalent contexts to create ‘cross-fictional’ rhetorical effects. We focus on the representation of thought and consciousness. Using the concept of ‘mind style’ (Fowler, 19771996Leech & Short, 1981Semino, 2007), we investigate the linguistic representation of the internal monologue of British Prime Minister, Theresa May, in a satirical newspaper article. The stylistic analysis of the PM’s mind style facilitates an account of the elaborate and nuanced mixing of May and the author’s ideological perspectives throughout the piece. We argue that this cross-fictional, stylistic approach better accounts for the satirical effects of fictionality in the text than those placing a premium on authorial intention and the invented nature of the narrative discourse.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Andersson, G. & Sandberg, T.
    (2018) Sameness versus difference in narratology: Two approaches to narrative fiction. Narrative, 26(3), 241–261. doi:  10.1353/nar.2018.0012
    https://doi.org/10.1353/nar.2018.0012 [Google Scholar]
  2. Black, E.
    (1993) Metaphor, simile and cognition in Golding’s The Inheritors. Language & Literature, 2(1), 37–48. 10.1177/096394709300200103
    https://doi.org/10.1177/096394709300200103 [Google Scholar]
  3. Bockting, I.
    (1994) Mind style as an interdisciplinary approach to characterisation in Faulkner. Language & Literature, 3(3), pp.157–174. 10.1177/096394709400300301
    https://doi.org/10.1177/096394709400300301 [Google Scholar]
  4. Browse, S.
    (2018a) From functional to cognitive grammar in stylistic analysis of Golding’s The Inheritors. Journal of Literary Semantics, 47(2), 121–146. 10.1515/jls‑2018‑2003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/jls-2018-2003 [Google Scholar]
  5. (2018b) Reading political minds: “Backstage” politics in audience reception. InM. Kranert & G. Horan (eds) ‘Doing politics’: Discursivity, performativity and mediation in political discourse, (pp.333–359), Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/dapsac.80.14bro
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dapsac.80.14bro [Google Scholar]
  6. Chatman, S.
    (1980) Story and discourse. Narrative structure in fiction and film. Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (1990) Coming to terms: The rhetoric of narrative in fiction and film. Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Clark, B.
    (2009) Salient inferences: Pragmatics and The Inheritors. Language & Literature, 18(2), 173–212. 10.1177/0963947009105343
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947009105343 [Google Scholar]
  9. Clark, T.
    (2015) Jeremy Corbyn’s speech: what he said and what he meant. The Guardian [online]. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2015/sep/29/jeremy-corbyns-speech-what-he-said-and-what-he-meant (Accessed21st August, 2019)
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Cohn, D.
    (1978) Transparent minds. Narrative modes for presenting consciousness in fiction. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. (1990) Signposts of fictionality: a narratological perspective. Poetics Today, 1(4), 775–804. 10.2307/1773077
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1773077 [Google Scholar]
  12. (1999) The distinction of fiction. Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Fairclough, N.
    (2000) New labour, new language?London & New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Fludernik, M.
    (1996) Towards a “natural” narratology. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203432501
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203432501 [Google Scholar]
  15. (2003) Natural narratology and cognitive parameters. InD. Herman (ed). Narrative theory and the cognitive sciences (pp.243–267), Stanford: CSLI Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. (2009) An introduction to narrative. London & New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203882887
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203882887 [Google Scholar]
  17. (2018) The fiction of the rise of fictionality. Poetics Today, 39(1), 67–92. doi:  10.1215/03335372‑4265071
    https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-4265071 [Google Scholar]
  18. Fowler, R.
    (1977) Linguistics and the novel. London: Methuen.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. (1996) Linguistic criticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Genette, G.
    (1988) Narrative discourse revisited. Translated byJ. E. Lewin. Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. (1990) Fictional narrative, factual narrative. Poetics Today, (11)4, 755–74. 10.2307/1773076
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1773076 [Google Scholar]
  22. Giovanelli, M.
    (2018) ‘Something happened, something bad’: Blackouts, uncertainties and event construal in The Girl on the Train. Language & Literature, 27(1), 38–51. 10.1177/0963947017752807
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947017752807 [Google Scholar]
  23. Grishakova, M.
    (2008) Literariness, fictionality, and the theory of possible worlds. InL.Å. Skalin (Ed.) Narrativity, fictionality, and literariness: The narrative turn and the study of literary fiction (pp.57–76), Örebro Studies in Literary History and Criticism 7, Örebro University.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. (2013) Complexity, Hybridity, and Comparative Literature. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 15(7). doi:  10.7771/1481‑4374.2379
    https://doi.org/10.7771/1481-4374.2379 [Google Scholar]
  25. Halliday, M. A. K.
    (1971) Linguistic function & literary style: An inquiry into the language of William Golding’s The Inheritors. In. Chatman (ed.) Literary Style: A Symposium (pp.330–368), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Harrison, C.
    (2017) ‘Finding Elizabeth: Construing memory in Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey’. Journal of Literary Semantics, 46(2), 131–151. 10.1515/jls‑2017‑0008
    https://doi.org/10.1515/jls-2017-0008 [Google Scholar]
  27. Hatavara, M.
    (2016) Documenting everyday life: Mind representation in the web exhibition ‘A Finnish winter day.’ InM. Hatavara, M. Hyvärinen, M. Mäkelä, & F. Mäyrä (Eds.) Narrative Theory, Literature, and New Media: Narrative Minds and Virtual Worlds, (pp.278–294), London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Hatavara, M. & Mildorf, J.
    (2017a) Hybrid fictionality and vicarious narrative experience. Narrative, 25(1), 65–82. 10.1353/nar.2017.0004
    https://doi.org/10.1353/nar.2017.0004 [Google Scholar]
  29. (2017b) Fictionality, narrative modes, and vicarious storytelling. Style, 51(3), 391–408.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Herman, D.
    (2011) Introduction. InDavid Herman (Ed.) The emergence of mind. Representations of consciousness in narrative discourse in English (pp.1–42), Lincoln & London: The University of Nebraska Press. 10.2307/j.ctt1df4fwq.4
    https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt1df4fwq.4 [Google Scholar]
  31. Hoover, D.
    (1999) Language & style in The Inheritors. Lanham, MD & Oxford: University Press of America.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Ji, Y. & Shen, D.
    (2004) Transitivity and mental transformation: Sheila Watson’s The Double Hook. Language and Literature, 13(4), 335–348. 10.1177/0963947004046284
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947004046284 [Google Scholar]
  33. Karttunen, L.
    (2008) A sociostylistic perspective on negatives and the disnarrated: Lahiri, Roy, Rushdie. Partial Answers, 6(2), 419–441. 10.1353/pan.0.0015
    https://doi.org/10.1353/pan.0.0015 [Google Scholar]
  34. Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M.
    (1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Langacker, R.
    (1987) Foundations of cognitive grammar, Vol I. Theoretical prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. (1991) Foundations of cognitive grammar, Vol II. Descriptive application. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. (2008) Cognitive grammar: A basic introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  38. Leech, G. & Short, M.
    (1981) Style in fiction. Harlow: Pearson.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. McHale, B.
    (1978) Free indirect discourse: A survey of recent accounts. Poetics and Theory of Literature, 3, 249–287.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Nahajec, L.
    (2009) Negation and the creation of implicit meaning in poetry. Language & Literature, 18(2), 109–127. 10.1177/0963947009105340
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947009105340 [Google Scholar]
  41. Nielsen, H. S., Phelan, J., & Walsh, R.
    (2015) Ten theses about fictionality. Narrative, 23(1), 61–73. 10.1353/nar.2015.0005
    https://doi.org/10.1353/nar.2015.0005 [Google Scholar]
  42. Nuttall, L.
    (2015) Attributing minds to vampires in Richard Matheson’s I am Legend. Language and Literature, 24(1), 23–39. 10.1177/0963947014561834
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947014561834 [Google Scholar]
  43. (2018) Mind style and cognitive grammar. London: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Nuyts, J.
    (2006) Modality: Overview and linguistic issues. InW. Frawley (ed.) The Expression of Modality, (pp.1–26), Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Palmer, A.
    (2005) Thought and consciousness representation (literature). InDavid Herman, Manfred Jahn & Marie-Laure Ryan (Eds.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory (pp.602–606), London & New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Perkins, M.
    (1983) Modal expressions in English. London: Francis Pinter.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Perkins, A.
    (2016) Theresa May’s speech: what she said and what she meant. The Guardian [online]. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2016/jul/13/theresa-mays-speech-what-she-said-and-what-she-mean (Accessed: 21st August, 2019)
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Searle, J. R.
    (1975) The logical status of fictional discourse. New Literary History, 6(2), 319–332. 10.2307/468422
    https://doi.org/10.2307/468422 [Google Scholar]
  49. Semino, E.
    (2002) A cognitive stylistic approach to mind style in narrative fiction. InE. Semino & J. Culpeper (eds) Cognitive Stylistics, (pp.95–122), Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/lal.1.07sem
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lal.1.07sem [Google Scholar]
  50. (2007) Mind style twenty five years on. Style, 41(2), 153–173.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. (2011) Deixis and fictional minds. Style, 45(3), 418–440.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. (2014) Pragmatic failure, mind style and characterisation in fiction about autism. Language & Literature, 23(2), 141–158. 10.1177/0963947014526312
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947014526312 [Google Scholar]
  53. Semino, E. & Swindlehurst, K.
    (1996) Metaphor and mind style in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Style, 30(1), 143–166.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Simpson, P.
    (1993) Language, ideology and point of view. London & New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203312612
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203312612 [Google Scholar]
  55. (2003) On the discourse of satire. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/lal.2
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lal.2 [Google Scholar]
  56. Stockwell, P.
    (2002) Cognitive poetics, An introduction. London & New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. (2009) Texture: A cognitive aesthetics of reading. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Thompson, G.
    (2014) Introducing functional grammar (3rd ed.). London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203785270
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203785270 [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error