Language as literature: Characters in everyday spoken discourse

Abstract

There are several linguistic phenomena that, when examined closely, give evidence that people speak through characters, much like authors of literary works do, in everyday discourse. However, most approaches in linguistics and in the philosophy of language leave little theoretical room for the appearance of characters in discourse. In particular, there is no linguistic criterion found to date, which can mark precisely what stretch of discourse within an utterance belongs to a character, and to which character. And yet, without at least tentatively marking the division of labor between the different characters in an utterance, it is absolutely impossible to arrive at an acceptable interpretation of it. As an alternative, I propose to take character use seriously, as an essential feature of discourse in general, a feature speakers and listeners actively seek out in utterances. I offer a simple typology of actions in discourse that draws on this understanding, and demonstrate its usefulness for the analysis of a conversation transcript.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

The Stylistics of Competent Speaking.John Michael Roberts - 2004 - Theory, Culture and Society 21 (6):91-114.
Topoi in Critical Discourse Analysis.Igor Žagar - 2010 - Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 6 (1):3-27.
Whole Language and Ideologies of Meaning.Pickett Pat Lema - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Missouri - Saint Louis
Fictional characters.Stacie Friend - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (2):141–156.
Speaking of fictional characters.Amie L. Thomasson - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (2):205–223.
Speaking of Fictional Characters.Amie L. Thomasson - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (2):205-223.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-04-07

Downloads
480 (#43,103)

6 months
90 (#64,058)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sergeiy Sandler
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Studies in the way of words.Herbert Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Context and logical form.Jason Stanley - 2000 - Linguistics and Philosophy 23 (4):391--434.
Studies in the Way of Words.D. E. Over - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (160):393-395.

View all 11 references / Add more references