LINGUIST List 9.1819

Tue Dec 22 1998

Books: Pragmatics

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  1. Christoph Eyrich, When Voices Clash: A Study in Literary Pragmatics, J. L. Mey

Message 1: When Voices Clash: A Study in Literary Pragmatics, J. L. Mey

Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 16:47:47 +0100 (MET)
From: Christoph Eyrich <>
Subject: When Voices Clash: A Study in Literary Pragmatics, J. L. Mey

 Jacob L. Mey

 When Voices Clash
 A Study in Literary Pragmatics

 1998. 23 x 15,5 cm. XV, 454 pages 
 Cloth DM 208,-/approx. US$ 130.00
 ISBN 3-11-015820-5
 Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 115

		Mouton de Gruyter * Berlin * New York

What is the basic difference between a good and a bad novel? What
makes us lose the `thread' of the story (and interest in the plot and
the character)? What is it that interrupts the necessary process of
continuously re-creating the text that are so crucial for text
consumption and successful readership? The answer to these questions
revolves around the notion of voice, understood not only as the way a
character speaks but, even more so, the way a character expresses a
particular view of the world. A voice represents an (implicit or
explicit) point of view, a focus. Vocalization implies focalization,
as the author says in the book.

The clashing of voices that the title highlights happens when
characters run off the story track and, by doing so, derail the entire
narrative engine. The book inquires into the ways in which those
collisions and derailments are caused, observed, and possibly
repaired. The role of the reader is here paramount in making or
breaking the narrative. The book examines the various linguistic and
narrative-technical `tricks' that the reader has at his or her
disposal in order to successfully follow the narrative and keep the
thread of the narrative intact.

While dealing with a pragmatic problem in literary theory, the book
nevertheless is written in such a fashion that also non-initiated
readers, taking an interest in the machinery of the reading process,
may consult it with profit. Whatever claims are made in the book are
shored up by lenghty extracts from literary works, from Horace to Fupz
Aakesson, from Caesar to Tolstoy, by way of Woolf, Bulgakov, Wesley,
Byatt, and numerous others.


Mouton de Gruyter Walter de Gruyter, Inc. 
Postfach 30 34 21 200 Saw Mill River Road 
D-10728 Berlin Hawthorne, NY 10532 
Germany USA 
Fax: +49 (0)30 26005-351 Fax: +1 914 747-1326 

Publications by de Gruyter can also be ordered via World Wide Web:
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
If you buy one of these books please tell the publisher or author that you saw it advertised on the LINGUIST list.

The following contributing LINGUIST publishers have made their backlists available on the World Wide Web:

1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Hermes
  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics