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Fota (Barabaş) Carmen-Monica Anul III;RE; Sem.II
2. DISCOURSE AND TEXTS
Read the following text and then answer the questions.
Available in the United Kingdom. A BMW for the animal kingdom. In children’s fiction, it was Doctor Doolittle who talked to animal. Today, thanks to doctors at the Bavarian Institute of Zoology it is the engineers at the BMW. At frequencies over 20,000 Hz, sound becomes inaudible to most humans. A hedgehog, on the other hand, can detect frequencies up to 45,000Hz. For this reason BMW has developed the concept of WAIL (Wildlife Acoustic Information Link). This operates on the same ultrasonic echo-sounding principle as BMW’s Park Distance Control System. Sonic waves are emitted from the front bumper producing a warning call which alerts stray animals to the approaching car. This encourages them to jump in the nearest hedgerow. Available from April 1 on selected models, we believe it will be resounding success with all road users. Both the four and two legged varieties. [BMW logo] The Ultimate Driving Machine (The Guardian, 1 April 1977) • What can you say about this text as discourse? • Identify cohesive devices in the text • To what other texts might you compare it? Discourse analysis refers to talk. Pragmatics and discourse analysis deals with the construction of meaningful communication and the creation of meaningful text; it is concerned with the relationship between Speaker/Writer and Hearer/Reader in the process of communication in specific contexts. Baker defines the function of cohesion as follows:
“[cohesion] is the network of lexical, grammatical, and other relations which provide links between various parts of a text. These relations or ties organize and, to some extent create a text, for instance by requiring the reader to interpret words and expressions by reference to other words and expressions in the surrounding sentences and paragraphs. Cohesion is a surface relation; it connects together the actual words or expressions that we can see or hear.” (Baker, 1992: 180). The theoretical terms for the linguistics resources which link one part of a text with another are what Halliday and Hasan regard as “ reference, substitution and ellipsis, conjunction, and lexical cohesion “(Halliday and Hasan, 1985: 48) The process of activation of a text by relating it to a context of use is what we call discourse. The text is the observable product of the writer’s or speaker’s discourse. The text above comes from an advertisement. We can identify cohesive devices. First, we observe the repetition of the same word , BMW . It is used for commercial reasons. Another cohesive device is lexical chains created by words which associate with each other: doctor, animal, zoology, hedgehog or BMW, engineers, road, driving machine. Another type of cohesive relationships that is present in this text is so-called referring expressions, the pronouns: it, this, them.
“it was Doctor Doolittle who talked to animal” “it is the engineers at the BMW”
• • •
“This operates on the same….” (the concept is the identified noun) “This encourages them to jump…”( a warning call; animals;) “…it will be resounding success…”(the concpt of WAIL) All this examples are anaphoric relations. In the beginning of the text, we observe a parallelism, essential feature for an
advertisement. “In children’s fiction, it was Doctor Doolittle who talked to animal. Today, thanks to doctors at the Bavarian Institute of Zoology it is the engineers at the BMW.”
However, this text is curious. Firstly, because it was created for April Fools’Day (The Guardian, 1 April 1977) and the model is " Available from April 1”. Secondly, the use of colloquial expression to parallel the formal one creates a humorous effect.
9. INTERACTION IN WRITTEN TEXTS TASK 2
Without adding or subtracting information, how many ways cau you find or rephrasing this sentence? From the beginning of next month, most of the major banks in Britain will issue cheque cards featuring a colour hologram of William Shakespeare. (New Scientist, 8 September 1988) The hallmarks of the Prague school are the division of the communicative structure of the sentence into two areas (theme - rheme). Some authors try to determine the theme and rheme by means of the information value for the discourse of the various parts of the sentence. According to this theory, the theme is what is known/ given in the text, and the rheme is the unknown/ new. Others assess the theme and rheme according to the contribution of parts of the sentence to the (further) development of a discourse A different functional definition of theme is to be found in the works of Halliday ,who has the following interpretation: “The Theme is a function in the CLAUSE AS A MESSAGE. It is what the message is concerned with: the point of departure for what the speaker is going to say.” For Halliday, the theme is obviously the starting point that a speaker chooses for his message. In English, the theme introduces the sentence: ‘As a general guide, the Theme can be identified as that element which comes in first position in the clause. (Halliday ). • Most of the major banks in Britain will issue cheque cards featuring a colour hologram of William Shakespeare from the beginning of the next month.
Most of the major banking in Britain will issue a colour hologram of William Shakespeare featuring cheque cards from the beginning of next month.
Most of the major banks in Britain from the beginning of next month will issue cheque cards featuring a colour hologram of William Shakespeare.
8. INTERACTION AND INTERTEXTUALITY
TASK 2 Choose any other text and try to analyse it from the perspective of modality and intertextuality. The selected text is the beginning of chapter 16, from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights .This passage is one of many turning points of the story. It shows an interval between the first generation and the second generation of the characters in the novel. This scene also shows the major themes relating to human values such as light and dark, love and hate, and life and death expressed throughout the novel. “About twelve o'clock that night, was born the Catherine you saw at Wuthering Heights: a puny, seven months' child; and two hours after the mother died, having never recovered sufficient consciousness to miss Heathcliff, or know Edgar. The latter's distraction at his bereavement is a subject too painful to be dwelt on; its after effects showed how deep the sorrow sunk. A great addition, in my eyes, was his being left without an heir. I bemoaned that, as I gazed on the feeble orphan; and I mentally abused old Linton for (what was only natural partiality) the securing his estate to his own daughter, instead of his son's. An unwelcomed infant it was, poor thing! It might have wailed out of life, and nobody cared a morsel, during those first hours of existence. We redeemed the neglect afterwards; but its beginning was as friendless as its end is likely to be. Next morning--bright and cheerful out of doors--stole softened in through the blinds of the silent room, and suffused the couch and its occupant with a mellow, tender glow. Edgar Linton had his head laid on the pillow, and his eyes shut. His young and fair features were almost as deathlike as those of the form beside him, and almost as fixed: but his was the hush of exhausted anguish, and hers of perfect peace. Her brow smooth, her lids closed, her lips wearing the expression of a smile; no angel in heaven could be more beautiful than she appeared. And I partook of the infinite calm in which she lay: my mind was never in a holier frame than while I gazed on that untroubled image of divine rest. I instinctively echoed the words she had uttered a few hours
before: `Incomparably beyond and above us all! Whether still on earth or now in heaven, her spirit is at home with God!' I don't know if it be a peculiarity in me, but I am seldom otherwise than happy while watching in the chamber of death, should no frenzied or despairing mourner share the duty with me. I see a repose that neither earth nor hell can break, and I feel an assurance of the endless and shadow less hereafter--the Eternity they have entered--where life is boundless in its duration, and love in its sympathy, and joy in its fullness. I noticed on that occasion how much selfishness there is even in a love like Mr. Linton's, when he so regretted Catherine's blessed release! To be sure, one might have doubted, after the wayward and impatient existence she had led, whether she merited a haven of peace at last. One might doubt in seasons of cold reflection; but not then, in the presence of her corpse. It asserted its own tranquility, which seemed a pledge of equal quiet to its former inhabitant.” According to Hodge and Kress, modality shows the speaker`s or writer`s `affinity` to the statement, so any utterance has the property of `modality` or is `modalised`. Sometimes, the readers need to have awareness on their reading by mean of considering the reliability and certainty of the narrator. In this sense, we observe in the selected passage that Mrs. Dean is one of the participating characters; she is the inside person even she is neither a member of the Earnshaw nor the Linton, but she can tell the stories as if she stays with them all the time. In the first and the second paragraphs, Mrs. Dean can portray movements of both the new born Catherine and the old Linton to Mr. Lockwood. The narration of Mrs. Dean is the epistemic modality, notion presented by Simpson in his work Language though Literature, because most of verbs in the narrative suggest a notion of knowledge, belief and cognitive. The utterance from the first paragraph:` in my eyes` , shows us the use of subjective modality. Mrs. Dean can describe in details a childish behavior of an infant that `it might have wailed out of life`. This expression suggests that Mrs. Dean does not only see what the baby girl does, but she can also explain how much the girl cries. Intonation patterns is a way of manifesting various degrees of affinity, present in our fragment :` An unwelcomed infant it was, poor thing!`. High affinity is expressed by intonation and an utterance that contains the word `poor`. In the last paragraph, Mrs. Dean mentions to the death, the eternity, or the life in the next world with a strong belief. She reveals her personal opinion with confidence as `I feel` and `I noticed`.
Both of these expressions lead the readers see that Mrs. Dean has not a confusion and hesitation on a state of death and eternity at all. Similarly, mentioning to other people’s reactions towards Catherine’s life after death as `one might have doubted` and `One might doubt` displays Mrs. Dean’s ego. The concept of intertextuality reminds us that each text exists in relation to others. Parts of the last paragraph illustrate manifest intertextuality, using indirect representation of discourse. For example, the statements” I instinctively echoed the words she had uttered a few hours before: `Incomparably beyond and above us all!` Whether still on earth or now in heaven, her spirit is at home with God!” and `--the Eternity they have entered--where life is boundless in its duration, and love in its sympathy, and joy in its fullness.` suggest us their intertextual relations with passages from Bible.