Publication details [#293]

Chapman, Siobhan. 2012. Towards a Neo-Gricean Stylistics: Implicature in Dorothy L. Sayers’s Gaudy Night. Journal of Literary Semantics 41 (2) : 139–153. 15 pp.
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This article explores the possibility of using neo-Gricean pragmatics based on Horn’s (1989, 2004, 2007) account of communication as a tool for the stylistic analysis of literary texts, the case study being Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers (1935). Seemingly a detective mystery, this novel transcends this genre by addressing wider themes, in particular women's role and status in early twentieth century society, and the psychological motivations and developments of its central characters. The analysis shows that Horn’s Q and R principles can be successfully employed for demonstrating how implicitly communicated aspects, in particular metaphors relating to the two abovementioned themes, are picked up by readers. The article shows that literary texts offer an alternative type of data for exploring the operation of neo-Gricean principles in linguistic interaction.