Iconicity as a creative force in the language of literature

by Ross, Karina

Abstract (Summary)
In recent decades, much attention has been focused on literary and linguistic iconicity. Poetry became the primary focus of investigations, while prose received substantially less attention. The primary premise of this research is the existence of correlations between ideas and beliefs that preoccupy a particular society, and the literary forms in which those beliefs are expressed; i.e. the theory that language possesses non-arbitrary linguistic signs. Thus, it is natural to suppose that any literary movement which advances a set of specific ideas develops expressive forms that become distinctive of it. Such distinctive characteristics emerge not only in poetry but in prose as well. The proposed investigation concentrates on iconic elements of syntax which mirror those concepts and beliefs, which are generated by Russian literary movements and which preoccupy the society during the time of their preeminence. The four movements examined in this thesis are Sentimentalism, Romanticism, the "Natural School" and three examples of the prose of the Silver Age. The target of this research is establishing connections between ideas and forms, and distinguishing recurring instances of iconicity that are conditioned by a particular movement. As it becomes apparent that numerous prose works that refer to a particular literary movement exhibit persistent syntactic characteristics, one may wonder what conditions their recurring use in the works of a particular author or even of numerous authors. Upon a closer examinaton of these devices, it appears that many are connected with the general premises of the dominating literary movement. It becomes necessary to comprehend what movement-generated ideas stand behind these iconic devices and why. The methodological framework of this thesis is based on R. Jakobson's research in the domain of the language in literature. It also largely hinges on E. Anderson's profound research titled The Grammar of iconism, which accounts for various iconic forms in literary languages.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:language in literature iconicity


Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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