Lesley Jeffries introduces a phenomenon which has not been given the
attention it deserves - the contextual construction of oppositional
meaning. These are opposites not recognisable as such out of context but
that are clearly set up this way in the text concerned.
The significance of oppositional meaning is well-known, and has been
discussed by scholars for millennia, from Philosophy to Politics. But the
main emphasis has always been on the conventional opposite: the opposite
recognised by lexical semantics.
Starting from socio-cultural viewpoints, moving to original research and
then concluding with a new theoretical formulation, this book introduces
and consolidates a significant new approach to the analysis of oppositional
meaning. It closes with a discussion of the importance of constructed
opposition in hegemonic practice and makes a case for the inclusion of
opposition as a central tool of critical discourse analysis. It will be
essential reading for researchers and graduates in stylistics, linguistics
and language studies.
"The focus of this book is on how 'created' oppositions are triggered,
constructed and construed in language. Examples are drawn from a wealth of
sources – including poems, medical texts and newspaper stories – with
oppositions cleverly unravelled and their ability to influence our thoughts
and our reality gradually exposed. The findings contribute usefully to the
growing body of knowledge about antonyms and other oppositions, and to the
contexts in which they occur; the ramifications are significant for
language-based studies of literature, popular culture and the media."
- Steven Jones, Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Education, The
University of Manchester, UK