This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
An increasing number of publications have emerged from inter-disciplinary research into a contentious area known to some as literary semantics (Eaton, 1979; Margolin, 1984), to others as stracturalist narratology (Barthes, 1966; Bremond, 1966; Chatman, 1978; Genette, 1966; Todorov, 1966), to the Russians as literary semiotics (Bakhtin, 1980; Lotman, 1975; Voloshinov, 1983), to some American academics as studies in narrative structure (Johnstone, 1987) but to other American literary critics (Booth, 1961 and the Chicago school) as part of the exercise in practical criticism. Other contributions came from hermeneutics (Ricoeur, 1984), stylistics (Cassirer, 1975; Enkvist, 1973; Fish, 1970) and different schools of literary criticism. Clearly, it is difficult to situate the analysis of narrative voice exclusively in any of these disciplines. However, following the lead of many linguists who have perceived scope for linguistics to have its say in the elaboration of narrative structures and strategies (Adamson, in progress; Greimas and Courtes, 1976, 1982; Fowler, 1986; Fowler et al, 1979; Fraser and Joly, 1979; Leech and Short, 1981; Wright, 1987), the main task of this chapter is to explore the tools that linguistics can offer in the identification of narrative voice. Among the fundamental premises underlying the methodology adopted herein it is believed that propositions are uttered by speakers who appropriate a given linguistic system for their own subjective purposes (to be defined below); that speakers necessarily leave traces in the utterance of their attitudes both to their message and to their addressee(s). As Lyons has put it (1977:724): If propositions are treated as psychological entities, rather than as purely abstract third-order entities, then it is natural to treat as their location the persons (or the minds, or brains, of the persons) who have what philosophers might describe as a propositional attitude (knowledge, belief, etc.). It is necessary therefore to adopt a linguistic framework which argues the case for the need to systematically study which linguistic forms produce which subjective effects. Then it is up to the narratologist to measure the frequency and degrees of intensity of these forms and come up with conclusions that will hopefully pave the way for a typology of narratives (Ducrot and Todorov, 1981).
I.1 Jakobson's shifters: the need for an extension:
Modern theories of enunciation (reviewed by Fuchs, 1979), the growing interest in egocentric particles (Russel, 1940), and the influential findings in the indexical aspect of language
following Jesperson. a speech event (Es). being in existential relationship with the object they designate. and its topic. they will qualify either as shifters or nonshifters. two of which are circular (message referring to message. Jakobson classifies eight categories in the following table: P involved P not involved non-shifters gender/number voice status/aspect (Pn) shifters person (Pn/Ps) (PnEn) mood (En) tense taxis (EnEn) evidential (EnEnsEs) --------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------(PnEnPs) (En/Es) --------------------------------------------------------------fig . since. he distinguishes four duplex structures.(Todorov 1970) especially on deixis (Benv‚niste 1966. The discrimination of shifters from among the whole set of grammatical categories is a necessary exercise.#Consequently four items are to be distinguished: a narrated event (En). When the code obligatorily refers to the message the category involved is what.1../Es) (procŠs de l'‚nonciation) and/or its participants (. plays a vital role in the study of language. 1979) deal with various aspects of the same class of linguistic categories.. in any systematic classification of such categories. they are partly symbols. namely Jakobson's class of shifters. whether "performer" or "undergoer". The notion of duplex structures./Ps). and code referring to code). the narrated matter (n). According to whether or not grammatical categories meet the requirement of referring to (. a participant of the narrated event (Pn).. Jakobson argues (1956). Shifters are verbal categories akin to Pierce's indexical symbols./Es) and/or (. and a participant of the speech event (Ps).. Thus shifters are categories implying compulsory reference to the speech event (. he calls shifters. Lyons 1977. Fillmore 1973.#2) the event itself (E). they come under the category of indices. and any of its participants (P). condensed from Jakobson's two diagrams (1956:136) The categories classified as shifters are what Jakobson calls "person" (Pn/Ps) characterising . and the other two overlapping (message referring to code and code referring to message) (1956:133): In order to classify the verbal categories two basic distinctions are to be observed:#1) speech itself (s). 1970. and yet. Starting from this distinction./Ps) (namely the enunciator and enunciatee(s)). whether addresser or addressee. Jakobson insists. having a general conventional definition at the code level. Speaking from a dualist Saussurian perspective (namely the dichotomy of langue vs parole).
for want of a better name.2 Problems with Jakobson's "non-shifters": The controversial categories are those classified as "non-shifters". qui structure les catégories linguistiques. sous des modalités largement antérieures et indépendantes des formes grammaticales spécifiques avec lesquelles les diverses langues les reflèteront. "tense" (En/Es) involving the narrated event with reference to the speech event.the participants of the narrated event with reference to the participants of the speech event. The following problems could be detected in them. Postuler un investissement de sens antérieur … la forme linguistique. and finally what he calls.1 The categories of "gender" and "number": Jakobson claims that both "gender" and "number". A serious criticism of the presumed transparency of the category of gender comes from Violi (1987) who. et capable … son tour de produire un sens et des . this selection could be part of the speaker's discursive strategy to influence the addressee and to produce the desired effect on him. This characteristic is of vital importance in the definition of shifters. Thus. three. four and five) and on modal and affective subjectivity (chapters six and seven). One common denominator between them is their reference. mais c'est la symbolisation que cette différence a déjà subie. the choice of these categories within the utterance could be taken as a cue revealing the latent attitude of the speaker to the participant(s) of the narrated event (the délocutés). abbreviated as "Pn" characterise the participants themselves "without reference to the speech event". Against this unqualified statement. signifie lire la différence sexuelle comme une structure déjà signifiante. being a semiotician. I. I. whether explicit or implicit to the speech event (act of enunciation) and its participants (both enunciator and enunciatee(s)). is mainly concerned with the uncovering of the cultural codes and symbolising processes underlying the grammatical forms in a language: ce n'est pas la donnée naturelle de la différence des sexes. a speech event and a narrated speech event (alleged source of authority about the narrated event).2. sa "matérialité grossière" comme dirait Sapir. déjà symbolisée. it will be argued that both gender and number do involve an ideological investment on the part of the speaker besides the cultural mediation infiltrating through the language used. "mood" (PnEn/Ps) having to do with the relation between the narrated event and its participants with reference to the participants of the speech event reflecting thus the speaker's view of the character of the connection between the action and the actor or the goal. and will be shown to be instrumental in the detection of subjectivity indices or cues within the utterance "énoncé". "evidential" (EnEn/Es) involving a narrated event. Pushed a little further. These categories will be examined in detail in the first part of the thesis mainly in the chapters on deictic subjectivity (chapters two.
For instance. Such associations are often wider and more subtle than the overt system indicates. After comparing the gender status of "car" in German. In Arabic. is widely used as an efficient means of persuasion to manipulate the readers or audience by foregrounding or exaggerating certain items and minimising or obscuring others (see Fowler et al 1979 for interesting exemplification ). the pronouns "we" and "vous" are not simply the plurals of "I" and "tu" respectively. The former effect is held by Kress et al (1979:89) to be a convenient means for obscuring facts and mystifying the addressees : The general effect of a plural is to indicate a compound field.symbolisations. and English. Kress and Hodge (1979) argue that when the gender system is overt. As will be explored in the next chapter (section on person displacement). or whether many substances are apprehended as countable or uncountable (Quirk et al 1972). But most importantly. they conclude that the basis for the gender assignment is not biological but ideological. Their argument becomes stronger when they analyse the ideological manipulations of implicit or covert gender in advertisements. the speaker's point of view or vis‚e is a decisive factor in determining whether words like "the government". dual. it fixes a set of sexual associations for a culture. as embodied in and imposed by the language used. like French and. virtually all inanimate objects or natural phenomena are conjugated in the third person female singular. In fact. there are many cases where speakers enjoy considerable "freedom" to define things either as singular or plural [although the word "freedom" has to be qualified in view of the fact that a great deal of these ideological stances are already prestructured and imposed as mediating grids by the language used] (Lodge. In English. Grammatical gender does not transparently reflect natural distinctions. Behind the assignment of gender lies both the speaker's culture. Similarly. the choice of number (singular. English. more markedly Arabic. political speeches. even if . the speaker's own strategies. and any such well processed discourse. 1981). A sentence in which everything is in the plural will feel more diffused and complex than a sentence which uses only singulars. plural or any other possible arrangement) is not simply dictated by objective reality. uncertainty and dullness of focus on the one hand and exaggeration or foregrounding on the other. The semantic act of gender assignment is not one of immediate objective observation but constructed and negotiated in the process of its genesis. the choice of number in newspaper editorials. French. and in varying degrees. Besides. "the United States" or indeed "Liverpool" are singular or plural. the plural has different effects ranging between imprecision. That is why grammatical gender offers a wide range of possibilities for manipulation. offers its speakers possibilities to use the plural for other purposes than number.
the negative. Joly & Roulland. 1970) call sentential modalities [modalit‚s phrastiques] such as the affirmative. The latter effect is commonly obtained in newsbulletins and correspondent reports from countries where a number of "victims" of oppression or of "champions" of a cause in a demonstration is deliberately amplified. Most of these categories will be discussed under the section on modality (chapter seven). Such linguistic forms indicate the presence of the speaker indirectly by necessitating the presence of an addressee. contrary to Jakobson's claim. 1966. or at least to the ideological investment of the participants of the speech event. Presumably. Thus. The affirmative has a very strong modal force.. because they are oriented toward the addressee. By the YOU-centered forms.There is no epistemically stronger statement than a categorical assertion. and by implication. and by implying "you" necessarily presuppose "I". I mean imperative and interrogative forms. therefore.. the imperative and interrogative are "you-centred forms".the reality described is the same. but it may be useful here to point out where Jakobson is wrong. As Lyons (1977:808-809) has put it: It would be generally agreed that the speaker is more strongly committed to the factuality of "It be raining" by saying It is raining than he is by saying It must be raining. by this he is referring to what other linguists (Benv‚niste. Similarly. As Adamson has perceptively stated (in progress1:22): In texts. I. . that we should always make the strongest commitment for which we have epistemic warrant. The dialogical inter-dependence of the first and second persons entails that when one of these interlocutors is implied in an utterance. the interrogative. It is a general principle. 1981. it will be assumed that we have full epistemic warrant for what we say. the presence of his dialogical counterpart is automatically established. to which we are expected to conform. a greater speaker investment in the utterance. the categories of gender and number do refer to the speech event.. YOU and YOU-centered forms are particularly important in establishing "I" as a speaking presence.2 The categories of "status" and "aspect": The second misleading category in Jakobson's "non-shifters" is what he calls "status and aspect" characterising the narrated event itself "without involving its participants and without reference to the speech event". the subjunctive and the conditional "moods" (as they are traditionally known). If there is no explicit mention of the source of our information and no explicit qualification of our commitment to its factuality. The most blatant manipulations of number are found in military communiqués in a war. Their exclusion from the class of shifters is not justified. to use Adamson's terminology.2. Todorov.
(especially those in the first person). in narratives. and other forms of intimation should be taken to provide significant clues indicating the speaker's presence. and his intention to influence his addressee(s) one way or another (Benvéniste. What is vital for the present argument is that. What is common to these findings is the construal of enunciating as a form of doing and the exploration of the forces contained in an act of enunciation (locutionary. 1962. Grice. par un procès linguistique qui est en même temps un procès de comportement … double entrée. they do make this reference implicitly through other channels. relèvent de cet aspect de l'énonciation. The difficulty with these categories is that.3 The categories of "voice" and "taxis": The third category classified as a "non-shifter" is what Jakobson terms "voice" (PnEn) which is supposed to characterise the relation between the narrated event and its participants "without reference to the speech event or to the speaker". even when the presence of an "I" or a YOU has not been explicitly stated. categories such as questions and imperatives have the function of enlisting and calling for a response from the addressee(s) to the speaker's performative act. One's .2. 1966). imperatives. For instance. these forms make a necessary reference to the present of enunciating (what Jakobson calls the speech event and its participants) and have to be included as shifters. The study of performatives and the different forms of doing has been the major contribution of speech act theories (Austin. whereas the fourth category failing to satisfy Jakobson's criteria for shifters is "taxis" (EnEn) "charaterising the narrated event in relation to another narrated event and without reference to the speech event".both of which prompt us to infer an I-YOU dialogue. qui est une énonciation construite pour susciter une "réponse". pronoms. Indeed. 1983. etc. particules. 1975. 1983). 1970:15) Consequently. contrary to Jakobson's claim. 1969) and pragmatics (Leech. It is the "projected self" of a speaker as this self emerges in interaction. Levinson. Searle. Thus they inevitably presuppose reference both to the speech event and especially to the participants of the speech event: L'INTERROGATION. séquence. in the major syntactic functions of enunciation in an utterance enumerated by Benvéniste (1970). A person involved in an interaction and telling a story about a previous interaction must manipulate footing on at least two levels: the level of the storytelling interaction and the level of the interaction in the story. I. as Goffman defines it (1981:128) is "the alignment we take up to ourselves and the others present as expressed in the way we manage the production or reception of an utterance". intonation. it could be argued that the occurrence of questions. Toutes les formes lexicales et syntaxiques de l'interrogation. one of the main constraints on storytellers is to capture in their talk various levels of what Johnstone (1987:44) calls "footing": Footing. illocutionary and perlocutionary forces). although they do not explicitly involve reference to the speech event or its participants. (Benvéniste.
1976) known also as a sentient centre (Lotman. or towards shifting out [débrayage] where the presence of the speaker is less readily available and a disjunction of the utterance from I/here/now onto what is not-I/not-here/not-now takes place (tendency towards objectivity). and these changes. on both levels. there are tendencies either towards shifting in [embrayage] where the subjective presence of the speaker is more readily apparent. The two levels of story and discourse in structuralist narratology (Chatman. However. to stop the erosive effect of the categories of shifters.sont affectifs vu que tous ont pour objet d'agir sur l'interlocuteur. enunciation [énonciation] is necessarily and always presupposed by the utterance [énoncé]. 1966) cannot be separated.3 Suggested adjustments to Jakobson's model: What is important as a corrective to Jakobson is to argue that not to refer to the speech event or to its participants is a structural impossibility .the I/here/now ordering personal and spatio-temporal relations. In linguistic terminology. if not foregrounded (as is the case with deictic categories). if not virtually impossible. from the preceding discussion. i. together with Guespin (1976) that there is no clearly defined borderline between shifters and non-shifters. Il n'est pas de phrase qui ne soit affective. 1978. the subjectivising tendency will be called engagement whereas the objectivising tendency will be called disengagement. Herman Parret (1983) claims that speakers could be said to have an affective competence "compétence passionnelle" that inevitably marks their discourse.alignment with respect to others changes in the course of interaction. better still. I. as Gustave Guillaume has put it (quoted in Joly 1981:545): Tous les actes d'expression .e.sans exception aucune . Therefore. It will be argued. it should have become apparent that it is very difficult. this being either a deictic centre (Fillmore 1973). 1975) affectively and modally reacting to things and evaluating them. or a cognitive centre (Gréimas and Courtès. In fact. in progress) experiencing and perceiving things. Genette. de l'affecter. a scale or cline of gradations could be envisaged with "total" engagement or disengagement at either extremity. In brief. Instead of Jakobson's sharp distinction between shifters and non-shifters. The linguistic forms could then be assigned degree-of-shifting values ranging from the most minimal to . what could be deduced from Jakobson's argument is that grammatical (and particularly verbal) categories shift differently. In other words. linguistic forms belong to different kinds of shifters and lend themselves to different degrees of transparency. A large and ever growing shady area lies in between. or. There has to be an axis of reference with respect to which relations are perceived. must be encoded too. To use the terminology of Greimas and Courtès (1982). or a perceptual centre (Adamson. the telling/narrating/discourse level is always underlying to and presupposed by the histoire level.
the most maximal. 1982) the speaker inscribes in the utterance either an engaging egocentric force or else a disengaging objectivising force. Jakobson listed several functions of language. by its very definition. In his widely quoted closing speech (1973). Since the main concern of this thesis is the systematic search for clues indicating narrative voice. in particular. two of which are extremely important for the present argument. I. What warrants the dichotomy on the other hand is that there is in an utterance a number of cues giving the impressions either of subjectivity or of objectivity (Morot-Sir. it stands to reason that an analysis of utterances in terms of this function is particularly rewarding. Consequently. will be termed the social orientation of the utterance (see chapter two). In so far as there is a speaker latent to any conceivable speech event. The second function to borrow from Jakobson is the conative function (involving the speaker's consciousness or vis‚e of his addressee) as could be reconstructed from elements in the utterance. 1966. This function is particularly helpful in understanding the working of person deixis and. the import of the categories enumerated by Jakobson is that. I.4 Jakobson's linguistic functions: Two more fruitful concepts could be borrowed from Jakobson's legacy. following Voloshinov (1983). It could be concluded thus that Jakobson's legacy has paved the way towards a linguistics of enunciation where the speaking subject has a central place. 1970 in particular). 1982:128). they either tend to give the impressions of subjectivity or at least to prompt the reader to take into account their shifting reference (Jakobson's shifters called here overt shifters) or on the contrary give impressions of objectivity by suppressing overt reference to the speech event and its participants (Jakobson's "non-shifters" called here covert shifters).the dichotomy between "subjective" and "objective" utterances does not operate at the deep level since. then every utterance could be said to be subjective. he defines linguistic subjectivity with respect to them (1966:263): Le langage est donc la possibilité de la subjectivité. It is important to bear in mind the fact that the notions of subjectivity and objectivity are relative and set into relief the very problematic of indeterminacy in borderline cases. The first of these is the emotive function (involving the attitude of the speaker/locutionary agent toward his own discourse). when used in discourse. Operating within the structuralist duality of langue vs parole. du fait qu'il contient toujours les formes . what. Thus. In the discursivisation process (Gréimas and Courtès. an utterance is the result of a subjective act of appropriating a linguistic system by a speaker (see below).5 Emile Benvéniste's legacy: the nature of linguistic subjectivity: The problematic of shifters found a considerable boost in the work of Benv‚niste on linguistic subjectivity and the formal apparatus for enunciation (1965.
indices. but not meaninglessness. clues. cues. It is from the centrality of the speaker in his utterance that the linguistic indices of enunciation stem (Benvéniste.. Cette situation va se manifester par un jeu de formes spécifiques dont la fonction est de mettre le locuteur en relation constante et nécessaire avec son énonciation. Speech is so impregnated with subjective markers that it is inconceivable to study its function without recourse to them (Bevéniste. le concept d'"‚go". 1970:14. This is what has been admirably perceived by Benvéniste (1966:259-60): C'est dans et par le langage que l'homme se constitue comme sujet. the presence of these cues in different degrees of intensity in every utterance is a presence-indicator. The speaker by annexing for his own use the formal apparatus of a language necessarily leaves traces of his presence as a speaker on the surface of his utterance. et le discours provoque l'émergence de la subjectivité. It is because these empty forms lend themselves for appropriation by an individual speaker who by so doing transforms what is conventional and codified into something personal and idiosyncratic that they are called shifters.. The emptiness. 1970:14): L'acte individuel d'appropriation de la langue introduit celui qui parle dans sa parole. the utterance and especially the other participants both in the speech event and the narrated event. The gains to narratology from this linguistic approach are innumerable. Hence. Most modern theories of enunciation are indebted to Benvéniste for this systematic search for clues and their assigning to a centre or axis of reference. La "subjectivité" dont nous traitons ici est la capacité du locuteur … se poser comme "sujet". du fait qu'il consiste en instances discrètes. The occurrence of such cues emanates from the relationship between the speaker.) of the process of enunciation in the utterance (Benvéniste. spatial and temporal deictic forms will only take their . As Ducrot and Todorov (1981) have pointed out. C'est l… une donnée constitutive de l'énonciation. Est "égo" qui dit "égo". traces. the study of shifters finds a natural place as a vital integral part in the study of linguistic subjectivity. dans sa réalité qui est celle de l'être. Le langage propose en quelque sorte des formes "vides" que chaque locuteur en exercice de discours s'approprie et qu'il rapporte … sa personne. These cues are pervasive.n'est que l'émergence dans l'être d'une propriété fondamentale du langage. Kerbrat.linguistiques appropriées … son expression. of these forms provides the key feature of what is generally understood by shifters as construed in an extended framework.. 1980). Shifters are thus inexorably linked to the emergence of the speaking subject within the utterance. It is this process of appropriation of the linguistic system by an individual speaker which defines the concept of enunciation. revealing information on the speaking subject.. The task of the linguist is thus to focus on the imprint (marks. 1966:261). parce que le langage seul fonde en réalité. Person. La présence du locuteur … son énonciation fait que chaque instance de discours constitue un centre de référence interne.
Argumentative stylistics is consequently directed towards the question of the means used to achieve a particular effect and . As adapted for the present argument. etc. One "literary-oriented" frame searching for subjectivity cues which explicitly attempts to bridge the gap between the contemporaneous disciplines of linguistics and literature on the one hand. The linguistic items presupposing an interaction of the individual with the environment stem from a perceptual centre. encoding a message is a complex process where subjective elements infiltrate into the speaker's already culturally prestructured initial project at different levels of the encoding process (Greimas's discursivisation process) so much so that the final product (the utterance) is a necessarily modified version of an already subjective input (LeGoffic. The selection of lexical items. 1980). exposing the speaker's strategies and latent intentions.. Nous nous intéresserons donc aux seuls unit‚s "subjectives". That is. and the historically related disciplines of rhetoric and stylistics on the other is Cassirer's argumentative stylistics defined (1975:39) thus: Its objective is to make semantical and logical analyses of argumentative and persuasive (influence exerting) texts to investigate which techniques the writer uses in order to achieve which effect.porteuses d'un "subjectivème".. I. nous considérons comme faits énonciatifs les traces linguistiques de la présence du locuteur au sein de son énoncé. attributing them to their respective centres. 1973. or noticing their scarcity.6 Narratology's need for enunciatory linguistics. Consequently. les lieux d'inscription et les modalités d'existence de ce qu'avec Benvéniste nous appellerons "la subjectivité du langage". etc. argumentative or interpretative stylistics requires a systematic search for indicators of voice (piecing together linguistic indices of subjectivity. . adverbs and all other realisations of modality (chapter seven) presuppose the subjective attitude of a locus of consciousness (Greimas's cognitive centre). Modal auxiliaries. to reveal and expose illusory objectivity in allegedly factual statements. 1979. the speaker is present everywhere in his utterance whether we as addresses or overhearers perceive his presence as explicit or implicit. and a miscellany of other forms betokens the presence of an affective/ideological or sentient centre.vice versa . The attribution of all these forms to their respective centres draws on what Kerbrat (1980:31-2) calls faits énonciatifs: Dans cette perspective restrainte. having insights into the particular world views and mindstyles (Fowler.meaning when assigned to an internal centre (presented below as the deictic centre).what these means as used in a text can indicate about a non-explicitly expressed intention or attitude of the writer. 1986) underlying them. (italicised in the text) Expression is inseparable from expressivity (Joly. 1980).
.Summary: We need a linguistic frame which undertakes to retrieve the most salient subjectivity markers in language. and to indicate how such cues could serve as presence indicators and primary clues in the identification of narrative voice. to inventory through illustrative examples from literary extracts some of their most striking effects. This is what the thesis precisely attempts to explore.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?