Phrases in literary contexts: patterns and distributions of suspensions in Dickens’s novels

Mahlberg, Michaela and Smith, Catherine and Preston, Simon (2013) Phrases in literary contexts: patterns and distributions of suspensions in Dickens’s novels. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 18 (1). pp. 35-56. ISSN 1384-6655

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Abstract

This paper addresses relations between lexico-grammatical patterns and texts. Our focus is on a specific linguistic unit, the ‘suspended quotation’ (or ‘suspension’), which has received particular attention in Dickens studies. The suspended quotation refers to an interruption of a fictional character’s speech by the narrator with a sequence of at least five words. We show how corpus linguistic methods can help to systematically study suspensions in a corpus of Dickens’s novels: we investigate relationships between patterns of body language presentation and suspensions; we consider the distribution of suspensions across novels; and we illustrate how patterns in suspensions relate to meanings of reporting verbs. Overall, we argue that suspensions are discernible units that contribute to meaningful patterns in narrative prose.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Dickens; body language presentation; reporting verbs; suspended quotation; suspension annotation
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Depositing User: Chamberlain, Mr Dick
Date Deposited: 15 May 2014 12:12
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 09:21
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/3151

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