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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2021

Sound Shape and Sound Effects of Literary Texts

From the book Handbook of Empirical Literary Studies

  • Stefan Blohm , Maria Kraxenberger , Christine A. Knoop and Mathias Scharinger


The sound of language comprises all articulatory, acoustic, and perceptual aspects of speech, including the phonological and phonetic recoding of orthographic symbols. The sound of casual speech is widely considered a mere vehicle of meaning; in literary genres, however, such as proverbs, poetry, or even the novel, the sound shape of language serves an aesthetic function and constitutes an integral component of the literary work of art, resulting in a pronounced “palpability” of form (Jakobson, 1960). This chapter selectively reviews the growing body of empirical research that is concerned with sound-related aspects of literary texts; particular attention is paid to prevalent concepts, theories, and methods, concluding with suggestions and recommendations for future investigation.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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