In this book, Susan Mandala offers a series of in-depth investigations into how the dialogue of four modern plays 'works' with respect to the pragmatic and discoursal norms postulated for ordinary conversation. After an account of the often-heated debates between linguists and critics concerning the analysis of drama dialogue as talk, four plays are considered: Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, Arnold Wesker's Roots, Terence Rattigan's In Praise of Love, and Alan Ayckbourn's Just Between Ourselves. For readers unfamiliar with linguistic approaches to talk, a chapter outlining the major frameworks used in the analysis of the plays is also included. By considering both linguistic and literary perspectives, this book extends the boundaries of traditional criticism and shows how the linguistic study of conversation can contribute to our understanding of dramatic dialogue.
Contents: Preface. Drama dialogue and talk; Approaches to talk; Lifting the smokescreen: the language of conversation in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming; Language and social class in Arnold Wesker's Roots; Brave silences; understanding what is not said in Terence Rattigan's In Praise of Love; Talking at the edge: Alan Ayckbourn's Just Between Ourselves; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.