Although linguistics is often a technical and increasingly abstruse discipline, many linguists retain a concern for the way in which linguistics can shed light on literature and literary problems. In their introductory chapter, the editors of this collection of essays, by linguists on either side of the Atlantic, enunciate a bold stance that defines the theoretical relationship between linguistics and literature, delimits what should be considered a linguistic analysis of literature, and explains how such an analysis is related to current theories of readership and literary criticism.
The editors’ theory of the relationship between linguistic and literary studies stipulates an eclectic rather than a holistic approach, and the essays they have gathered together reflect this belief. The contributions include such varied approaches as transformational grammar, text grammar and speech act theory, and the topics analysed include many that are at the heart of literature, such as topicalization, imagery, figurative language, ambiguity, and the play on words through puns. The anthology as a whole illustrates how linguistic theory illuminates the very nature of literary language. It also gives evidence of the new insights into literature that have arisen from a close analysis of the language in which the literature is encoded.
1. The Theoretical Relation Between Linguistics and Literary Studies: An Introduction by the Editors 2. Figurative Language 1. Prolegomena to a Linguistic Theory of Metaphor Derek Bickerton 2. A Semantic Approach to Metaphor Michael J. Reddy 3. Concerning a ‘Linguistic Theory’ of Metaphor Robert J. Matthews 4. On Understanding Poetic Metaphor Tanya Reinhart 5. Formal Semantics of Metaphorical Discourse Teun A. van Dijk 6. Concrete Abstraction: The Linguistic Universe of Metaphor Michael C. Haley 7. Byron’s Spatial Metaphor: A Psycholinguistic Approach Ronald F. Lunsford 8. Semantic Laws Joseph Williams 9. A Literary and Linguistic Analysis of Compact Verbal Paradox Marvin K.L. Ching 3. Stylistics 10. Some Remarks on Narrative Grammars Thomas G. Pavel 11. Inversions and Deletions in English Poetry George L. Dillon 12. Stylistic Analysis and Literary Interpretation H.G. Widdowson 13. Syntactic Deviation and Cohesion Irene R. Fairley 14. Wallace Stevens: Form and Meaning in Four Poems Samuel Jay Keyser 15. Topicalization as a Stylistic Mechanism Shivendra K. Verma 16. Understanding Poetic Speech Acts Michael Hancher 17. Toward a General Typology of the Pun L.G. Heller 18. Interpreting Meaningful Nonsense Marvin K.L. Ching