This study introduces a range of pragmatic theories and approaches that can
be applied to literary texts. It is ideal as an introduction for advanced
undergraduates and postgraduates.
Elizabeth Black looks at the usefulness of pragmatic theories in
interpreting literary texts and surveys methods of analysing narrative,
paying special attention to narratorial authority and character
focalisation. She describes Grice's Co-operative Principle, and considers
Sperber and Wilson's Relevance Theory, focusing on the latter's insights
into irony and varieties of indirect discourse. She introduces Bakhtin's
theories, relating them to Relevance Theory. Metaphor, irony and parody are
examined primarily as pragmatic phenomena, while investigation of the
theories of Labov and Bakhtin provides a strand of sociolinguistic
interest. Examples throughout the volume are taken from genuine,
predominantly twentieth-century, literary texts.
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