Cognitive stylistics provides a framework for analysis of conceptual metaphors in literature, as a way to approach fictional characters’ mind styles. Here, cognitive linguistic tools are applied to characterize the metaphorical expressions of emotion in James Joyce’s A portrait of the artist as a young man. A number of conceptual metaphors were identified in relation to anger, lust, shame, pride, fear, happiness and sadness, among others. Creative uses of language came to light, both by means of novel conceptual mappings and original linguistic realizations of more conventional metaphors. Original expressions revealed aspects of mind style of the novel’s main character, particularly in relation to his struggle with negative emotions. For example, anger and resentment are conceptualized as a sort of covering that could be effortlessly detached from the body, while shame-related feelings are experienced as threatening floods. From a methodological perspective, this study illustrates the advantages of cognitive stylistic tools for the analysis of literary work.
This article investigates the literary significance of two linguistic devices, repetition and negation, in the fictionalized biography “Northern Lights” by British-Caribbean writer Caryl Phillips, a narrative that focuses on David Oluwale, a Nigerian immigrant to the UK who died as a result of police violence in Leeds in 1969. To recount Oluwale’s story, “Northern Lights” uses a non-linear structure that juxtaposes stylistically diverse material such as eyewitness testimonies, a history of the city of Leeds, administrative documents, and passages featuring an authorial figure who apostrophizes the dead Oluwale. Analysing linguistic patterns found within and across these different textual segments, this article argues that repetition and negation play a key role in generating forms of dialogism that, in turn, implicitly indicate how “Northern Lights” positions itself towards Oluwale and his controversial story. From a more broadly methodological perspective, the article seeks to advance knowledge of how negation and repetition, when jointly studied as pragmatic phenomena, can impact literary strategies of characterization and reinforce a text’s poetic effects.
So far the cognitively-oriented study of literature has largely missed out on the cognitive conception of situatedness, which holds that human mental activity should be seen through the lens of its grounding in the physical, social and cultural milieu of the individual. Accordingly, the article shows the value of this approach in a Cognitive Linguistic analysis of Wisława Szymborska’s poem “Cat in an Empty Apartment”, setting out the ways in which situatedness underlies dynamic meaning construction in the production and reception of the work, giving rise to the singularity (Attridge 2004. The singularity of literature. London-New York: Routledge) of the poem. The paper concludes that situatedness can illuminate how the interplay of cognitive, linguistic, social and cultural factors might be brought to bear on the singularity of a literary work.
In this paper, I argue that embedded V2 clauses are not coordinated independent speech acts, but are regular subordinated clauses that lack independent assertive force. I will show, however, that V2 in these clauses indicates that the embedded proposition is epistemically anchored to the speaker and argue that this assertive potential of embedded V2 clauses needs to be licensed by an assertive operator in the main clause accounting for their distributional properties.