Vocative Constructions in the Language of Shakespeare
Beatrix Busse | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
This study investigates the functions, meanings, and varieties of forms of address in Shakespeare’s dramatic work. New categories of Shakespearean vocatives are developed and the grammar of vocatives is investigated in, above, and below the clause, following morpho-syntactic, semantic, lexicographical, pragmatic, social and contextual criteria. Going beyond the conventional paradigm of power and solidarity and with recourse to Shakespearean drama as both text and performance, the study sees vocatives as foregrounded experiential, interpersonal and textual markers. Shakespeare’s vocatives construe, both quantitatively and qualitatively, habitus and identity. They illustrate relationships or messages. They reflect Early Modern, Shakespearean, and intra- or inter-textual contexts. Theoretically and methodologically, the study is interdisciplinary. It draws on approaches from (historical) pragmatics, stylistics, Hallidayean grammar, corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, socio-historical linguistics, sociology, and theatre semiotics. This study contributes, thus, not only to Shakespeare studies, but also to literary linguistics and literary criticism.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 150] 2006. xviii, 525 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
List of illustrations | pp. xiii–xiv
Preface and acknowledgements | pp. xv–xvi
List of abbreviations | pp. xvii–xviii
Chapter 1. This study | pp. 1–65
Chapter 2. Theoretical framework: Shakespeare’s language as social semiotic | pp. 67–93
Chapter 3. “What is the focative case, William?” –: the grammar of vocatives in Shakespeare and systemic functional grammar | pp. 95–127
Chapter 4. What’s in a vocative ? –: the experiential, interpersonal, and textual meanings of Shakespearean vocatives: a polyphony of voices | pp. 129–289
Chapter 5. “Language most shows a man: speak, that I may see thee.” –: Vocatives in context | pp. 291–411
Chapter 6. Vocatives in Shakespeare and the theatre | pp. 413–444
Chapter 7. Conclusions | pp. 445–458
Appendix | pp. 459–493
Index | pp. 523–525
“Beatrix Busse's erudite study of vocatives in Shakespeare's plays will be of considerable interest to scholars and advanced students studying Shakespeare, Stylistics and/or Early Modern English. Her use of a careful corpus-based approach enables her to be systematic in her examination of forms of address in Shakespeare's plays and to provide useful quantitative analysis to support her arguments. She balances this quantitative analysis with stimulating and detailed qualitative accounts of the pragmatic and sociolinguistic meanings associated with particular vocatives and vocative types in context.”
Mick Short, Lancaster University, UK
“This is an ambitious investigation of vocatives in a carefully selected corpus of Shakespeare's plays. It is highly innovative and convincing in its combination of theories and extensive use of historical and contemporary sources. Moreover, it successfully challenges the reader to think across the boundaries between linguistic and literary studies and, although its emphasis is on forms of address, many of the excellent analyses -especially of individual passages, scenes or characters- offer exciting and new insights into the plays on the page as well as on the stage.”
Marga Munkelt, University of Münster, Germany
“Beatrix Busse's monumental study is an eye-opening account of the myriad functions of vocatives in Shakespeare's plays, and, by implication, in the Early Modern period more broadly. [...] I am most impressed by the thoroughness and insightfulness of this work. I would also like to praise the production team: this book has been meticulously edited. [...] linguists reading this book will likely be convinced that vocatives are a significant component of social interaction, and must be studied in the widest possible context. Literary scholars will benefit the most from Busse's nuanced readings of sample passages, as well as her phenomenal efforts to catalogue and situate these vocative terms historically. [...] And indeed, I think it would help both translators and theatre practitioners to gain much fuller understanding of the my lords and madams in Shakespeare's texts, enabling them to make more informed choices in their work.”
Nely Keinänen, Finnish editor of the World Shakespeare Bibliography, University of Helsinki, in the Journal of Historical Pragmatics, Vol. 11:1 (2010)
Cited by 20 other publications
Archer, Dawn & Alison Findlay
2020. Chapter 3. Keywords that characterise Shakespeare’s (anti)heroes and villains. In Voices Past and Present - Studies of Involved, Speech-related and Spoken Texts [Studies in Corpus Linguistics, 97], ► pp. 32 ff.
2021. Dear, my dear, my lady, your ladyship . Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA) 31:1 ► pp. 33 ff.
2015. “Hurry up baby son all the boys is finished their breakfast”. In Pragmatic Markers in Irish English [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 258], ► pp. 229 ff.
Hardie, Andrew & Isolde van Dorst
2018. Chapter 6. Turn-initial particles in English. In Between Turn and Sequence [Studies in Language and Social Interaction, 31], ► pp. 155 ff.
2016. Interjectional issues in translation. Babel. Revue internationale de la traduction / International Journal of Translation 62:2 ► pp. 300 ff.
Murphy, Sean, Dawn Archer & Jane Demmen
2020. Chapter 6. Interjections in early popular literature. In Voices Past and Present - Studies of Involved, Speech-related and Spoken Texts [Studies in Corpus Linguistics, 97], ► pp. 80 ff.
ÖZER, Nuriye & Pınar İBE AKCAN
[no author supplied]
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 7 june 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Main BIC Subject
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2006049870 | Marc record