Linguistic signs do not coincide with intended or interpreted meanings. For relevance theory, this theoretical commonplace merely demonstrates the inferential nature of language. For Paul de Man, on the contrary, it suggested that language is unstable, random, arbitrary, mechanical, ironic and inhuman. This lively and bold new book explores relevance theory with plenty of illustrated examples to show that it is a more plausible account of communication, cognition and literary interpretation than the deconstructionist theory de Man elaborated from readings of Rousseau, Hegel and Nietzsche. Its provocative and groundbreaking approach will force the reader to question the value for deconstructionist theory for interpreting literary texts in favour of a pragmatic theory from Linguistics.
Pragmatic Banality and Honorable Bigotry
Relevance Theory and Spoken Communication 'Positive Hermeneutics': Relevance and Communication 'Negative Hermeneutics': Themes, Figures, Codes and Cognition
Rhetoric, Blindness, Allegory, Ideology, Resistance
Words, Concepts and Tropes
Rhetoric as an Insurmountable Obstacle
Words and the World: The Problem of Reference
The Madness of Words and the Enunciating Subject 'When Lucy ceas'd to be'
Conclusion: Rhetoric and Relevance
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
IAN MACKENZIE is an English language teacher, teacher trainer and coursebook writer and the author of numerous articles on linguistics and literary theory. He teaches at the Haute Ecole de Gestion,