Negation, expectation and characterisation: analysing the role of negation in character construction in To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee 1960) and Stark (Elton 1989)

Nahajec, Lisa (2014) Negation, expectation and characterisation: analysing the role of negation in character construction in To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee 1960) and Stark (Elton 1989). In: Pragmatic Literary Stylistics. Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition . Palgrave Macmillan UK, Basingstoke, UK, pp. 111-131. ISBN 978-1-137-02325-4

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Official URL: https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137023254

Abstract

In this chapter, Nahajec takes a pragmatic perspective on linguistic negation and examines how textually realised absent events and attributes contribute to characterisation in fictional texts (Harper Lee’s (1960) To Kill a Mockingbird and Ben Elton’s (1989) Stark). Whilst characters are largely textually constructed through attributes they possess and actions they carry out, Nahajec suggests that possible but absent attributes and actions also play a part in characterisation as they prompt discourse participants to draw inferences from those unrealised possibilities. She focuses on the way in which the presuppositional nature of negation (Givón 2001) can both draw on and project discourse participants’ extra-textual knowledge and suggests a Gricean (1975) account of utterance meaning in considering the implied meaning potential of evoking expected, but unrealised, presences.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: negation, characterisaton, pragmatics, literary stylistics
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > English
Depositing User: Lisa Nahajec
Date Deposited: 22 May 2019 09:11
Last Modified: 22 May 2019 09:11
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2838

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