The Familiar Letter in Early Modern English

A pragmatic approach

| Northern Arizona University
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027251152 (Eur) | EUR 110.00
ISBN 9781588111869 (USA) | USD 165.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027297396 | EUR 110.00 | USD 165.00
 
This research monograph examines familiar letters in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English to provide a pragmatic reading of the meanings that writers make and readers infer. The first part of the book presents a method of analyzing historical texts. The second part seeks to validate this method through case studies that illuminate how modern pragmatic theory may be applied to distant speech communities in both history and culture in order to reveal how speakers understand one another and how they exploit intended and unintended meanings for their own communicative ends. The analysis demonstrates the application of pragmatic theory (including speech act theory, deixis, politeness, implicature, and relevance theory) to the study of historical, literary and fictional letters from extended correspondences, producing an historically informed, richly situated account of the meanings and interpretations of those letters that a close reading affords.

This book will be of interest to scholars of the history of the English language, historical pragmatics, discourse analysis, as well as to social and cultural historians, and literary critics.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 95]  2002.  viii, 263 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
vii
Introduction
1–15
1. The pragmatics of epistolary conversation: Preliminary considerations
17–33
2. Context and the linguistic construction of epistolary worlds
35–54
3. Making and reading epistolary meaning
55–86
4. Sociable letters, acts of advice and medical counsel
87–128
5. Epistolary acts of seeking and dispensing patronage
129–174
6. Intersubjectivity and the writing of the epistolary interlocutor
175–206
7. Relevance and the consequences of unintended epistolary meaning
207–231
Making meaning in letters: a lesson in reading
233–240
References
241–252
Index
253–258
“This is a rich and stimulating book which carries much information and valuable insights for readers from different backgrounds. It is based on a well-chosen corpus of letters and it provides perceptive

and fruitful analyses of letters from a wide array of social contexts and with pragmatic functions characteristic of their historical period.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2002018542