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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2017

2. Participation structure in fictional discourse: Authors, scriptwriters, audiences and characters

From the book Pragmatics of Fiction

  • Thomas C. Messerli


This chapter provides an overview of the participation structure in fictional discourse by discussing the relevant theoretical participation frameworks. The main focus is on the discourse of film and television, which is discussed in-depth, before the participation structures of literary fiction and drama are also addressed. The discussion highlights the participant roles each of the models describes for authors/producers, characters, and particularly for recipients/readers, which are given most focus in pragmatic research. One of the key differences between different frameworks has been the conceptualization of recipients/readers as either ratified participants or unratified overhearers. The chapter explains the terms as they are used by Goffman (1976, 1979) as well as the different positions that the respective theoretical approaches adopt.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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