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Novitas-ROYAL  2011 

THE CONTRIBUTION OF CA TO THE STUDY OF LITERARY DIALOGUE

Keywords: Conversation Analysis , literary dialogue , poeticity

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Abstract:

This short paper, which is intended for discussion and to generate interest in the relationship between CA and literary dialogue, is based on the general observation that poeticity seems to be a phenomenon of natural talk. Early studies of poetics assumed that language commonly regarded as “literary” was evidence of a “poetic function” (Jakobson 1960) that was specific to literature. There is evidence to suggest, however, that poeticity is an all-embracing aspect of language and not the province of literature alone. This casts doubt on the notion that there is such a phenomenon as “literary” language which can be distinguished from “non-literary”, i.e. ordinary, language. It is suggested here that the existence of poeticity in conversation has consequences for the analysis of dialogue in literature and that CA may have a role to play in this kind of study. To set up this argument, the general area of poetics and conversation will be sketched out in section 1.0 and the relationship between conversation and dialogue in literature discussed in section 2.0. Section 3.0 identifies particular issues which need to be explored further.

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