Chapter published in:Style, Rhetoric and Creativity in Language: In memory of Walter (Bill) Nash (1926-2015)
Edited by Paul Simpson
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature 34] 2019
► pp. 149–170
Chapter 9Common Language
Corpus, creativity and cognition
This chapter takes further debates concerning the nature of literary language and the presence of literariness in a range of discourses by exploring the extent to which everyday conversational discourse displays literary properties. The author argues that studies of literary discourse, and of the continuities between literary and non-literary discourse, have tended to focus on written language or on representations of spoken discourse in fictional or dramatic dialogues. This emphasis has made for questionable connections between literature, literacy and the written language because it assumes that spoken language is no more than a less patterned version of written language. Using the Cambridge and Nottingham Corpus of Discourse in English (CANCODE), the author shows how verbal inventiveness is pervasive in ordinary talk. The chapter concludes that common, everyday language is far from being either everyday or common – on the contrary, it is pervasively “poetic”.
Keywords: creativity, linguistic and literary theory, literariness, literary language, pleasure, spoken discourse, verbal play
- 1.Introduction: Writing and literary language?
- 2.CANCODE data
- 2.1Punning and playing
- 2.2Morphological inventiveness: New words for old
- 2.3Echoing and converging
- 2.4Pattern-reforming and pattern-reinforcing
- 3.Literary language: A brief history of definitions
- 3.1Inherency models; deviation theory and self-referentiality
- 3.2Socio-cultural models
- 3.2.2Preliminary conclusions
- 3.3Cognitive models
- 4.All language is literary language
- 4.1Pleasure and verbal play: Risks and rewards
- 4.2More CANCODE data
- 5.Developing a socio-psychological aesthetics
- 6.Questions for research: Linguistic and literary theory
Published online: 28 November 2019
1977 Verbal Art as Performance. Boston MA: Newbury House.
Bever, T. G.
Bhaya, R., Carter, R. A. & Toolan, M.
Boxer, D. & Cortes-Conde, F.
Carter, R. A.
Carter, R. A. & Nash, W.
Gibbs, R. W.
Lakoff, G. & Turner, M.
McCarthy, M. & Carter, R.
Pratt, M. L.
Cited by 1 other publications
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