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Iconicity and poeticity in the discourse functions of figures of speech
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2011 (English)In: Selected papers from the 2008 Stockholm Metaphor Festival / [ed] Christina Alm-Arvius, Nils-Lennart Johannesson & David Minugh, Stockholm: Department of English, 2011, 95-137 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This qualitative study deals with the nature of poeticity and iconicity and their role in the discourse functions of figures of speech: schemes and tropes. The concept of poeticity is that of Roman Jakobson. The poetic function is a particular kind of meaning which is created from language-internal material. It is found in rhythmic schematic repetition and more deliberate tropes whose poetic qualities seem foregrounded and aesthetically designed. Accordingly, they will have rhetorical and mnemonic potential. Moreover, poetic uses will have a monistic character, as their form and meaning will fuse, and this may make it difficult to translate and paraphrase them. Metonymic instantiations and conventional, entrenched metaphors will not be noticeably poetic, but the semantic status of a given use will be a result of more specific discourse factors. The poetic function can interact with factually descriptive, affective, and interpersonal meanings, which are extra-linguistically oriented, as well as with meaningful textual structuring. Poeticity is found in many different text types. It will be a global organisational feature in poetry, but tends only to occur locally in prose. In addition, prototypical iconicity concerns motivated similarity between a linguistic form and the kind of phenomenon out in the world that it represents. However, iconicity has also been used about the similarity relation between e.g. a metaphorical meaning and its source. Iconicity and poeticity often occur together, and they will strengthen and help to foreground each other’s characters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of English, 2011. 95-137 p.
Keyword [en]
discourse, figures of speech, poeticity, iconicity
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
General Linguistics; English; Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-73888OAI: diva2:504926
Available from: 2012-02-22 Created: 2012-02-22 Last updated: 2015-09-02Bibliographically approved

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