Language as literature: Characters in everyday spoken discourse

Sandler, Dr. Sergeiy (2012) Language as literature: Characters in everyday spoken discourse. [Conference Paper] (Unpublished)

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There are several linguistic phenomena that, when examined closely, give evidence that people speak through characters, much like authors of literary works do, in everyday discourse. However, most approaches in linguistics and in the philosophy of language leave little theoretical room for the appearance of characters in discourse. In particular, there is no linguistic criterion found to date, which can mark precisely what stretch of discourse within an utterance belongs to a character, and to which character. And yet, without at least tentatively marking the division of labor between the different characters in an utterance, it is absolutely impossible to arrive at an acceptable interpretation of it. As an alternative, I propose to take character use seriously, as an essential feature of discourse in general, a feature speakers and listeners actively seek out in utterances. I offer a simple typology of actions in discourse that draws on this understanding, and demonstrate its usefulness for the analysis of a conversation transcript.

Item Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:action; dialogue; literariness; meaning; polyphony
Subjects:Linguistics > Pragmatics
Linguistics > Semantics
Philosophy > Philosophy of Language
ID Code:8194
Deposited By: Sandler, Dr. Sergeiy
Deposited On:25 Apr 2012 13:03
Last Modified:25 Apr 2012 13:03

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