Up until the mid-1980s most pragmatic analysis had been done on spoken language use, considerably less on written use, and very little at all on literary activity. This has now radically changed.
‘Pragmatics’ could be informally defined as the study of relationships between language and its users. This volume, first published in 1991, seeks to reposition literary activity at the centre of that study. The internationally renowned contributors draw together two main streams. On the one hand, there are concerns which are close to the syntax and semantics of mainstream linguistics, and on the other, there are concerns ranging towards anthropological linguistics, socio- and psycholinguistics.
Literary Pragmatics represents an antidote to the fragmenting specialization so characteristic of the humanities in the twentieth century. This book will be of lasting value to students of linguistics, literature and society.
Table of Contents
Notes on contributors; Acknowledgements; Literary Pragmatics: An Introduction Roger D. Sell; 1. On the interpret ability of texts in general and of literary texts in particular Nils Erick Envist 2. Cross-cultural problems in the perception of literature Richard J. Watts 3. Poetic effects: a relevance theory perspective Adrian Pilkington 4. How indirect discourse means: syntax, semantics, poetics, pragmatics Meir Sternberg 5. Poems as text and discourse: the poetics of Philip Larkin Peter Verdonk 6. Understanding metaphor in literature: towards an empirical study Gerard Steen 7. But what is literature? Toward a descriptive definition of literature Willie van Peer 8. Two-way pragmatics: from world to text and back Ziva Ben-Porat 9. On free and latent semantic energy Claes Schaar 10. Textualization Balz Engler 11. What difference do the circumstances of publication make to the interpretation of a literary work? Jerome J. McGann 12. The politeness of literary texts Roger D. Sell 13. How does the writer of a dramatic text interact with his audiences? On communication Ernest W. B. Hess-Luttich; Bibliography; Index