Introduction: pragmatic literary stylistics

Book chapter

Chapman, S. and Clark, B. 2014. Introduction: pragmatic literary stylistics. in: Chapman, S. and Clark, B. (ed.) Pragmatic literary stylistics Basingstoke, UK Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1-15
Chapter titleIntroduction: pragmatic literary stylistics
AuthorsChapman, S. and Clark, B.

Pragmatics is an aspect of the study of language in use. It is concerned with how language users interact, communicate and interpret each others' linguistic behaviour. Literary stylistics is the study of how close attention to language use can contribute to accounts of how texts are understood and evaluated. Yet despite the apparent overlaps and commonalities of interest between the two disciplines, there has until now been relatively little work that brings them together, or that explores the interface between them. This interface is central to the ten separate essays brought together in this volume, all representative of recent significant developments within the field that we are here naming 'pragmatic literary stylistics'. In this introduction, we offer a brief overview of the development of pragmatic theory and of some of its main present-day branches. We consider some of the pioneering and the more recent ways in which individual researchers have experimented with applying different areas of pragmatic theory to the analysis of literary texts, and we examine the very recent increase in interest in this area which is reflected in this collection. We then outline what we see as some of the fundamental assumptions, or underlying tenets, which characterise our understanding of pragmatic literary stylistics. It is these assumptions that we envisage will drive future initiatives and shape the future development of the field. The introduction concludes with brief summaries of the individual chapters.

Research GroupEnglish Language and Literature
Page range1-15
Book titlePragmatic literary stylistics
EditorsChapman, S. and Clark, B.
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Place of publicationBasingstoke, UK
SeriesPalgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Communication
Publication dates
Print01 Jan 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Sep 2014
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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