Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 3, 2018

From functional to cognitive grammar in stylistic analysis of Golding’s The Inheritors

Sam Browse EMAIL logo

Abstract

Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) is one of the most influential grammars used in stylistics, but more recently the discipline has witnessed a growing body of work using cognitive grammars to explain stylistic effects. This research has tended to make the positive case for cognitive grammar (CG) by demonstrating its similarity to functionalist approaches. However, it is also necessary to say how CG adds to an SFG account of literary effects. To do so, I return to Halliday’s seminal analysis of Golding’s novel, The Inheritors. I use CG to investigate the conceptual processes involved in the reader’s interpretation of the character’s deviant mindstyle and outline some of the ludic and dramatic effects of these reconstrual operations. Thus, whereas SFG focuses on describing the ideational structure of the representations proffered by texts, I argue that a unique affordance of CG is its focus on the readerly construction of meaning.

References

Barsalou, Laurence. 1993. Situated simulation in the human conceptual system. Language and Cognitive Processes, 18(5/6), 513–562.10.1080/01690960344000026Search in Google Scholar

Black, Elizabeth. 1993. Metaphor, simile and cognition in Golding’s The Inheritors. Language & Literature 2. 37–48.10.1177/096394709300200103Search in Google Scholar

Browse, Sam. 2014. Resonant Metaphor in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. In Chloe Harrison, Louise Nuttall, Peter Stockwell & Wenjuan Yuan (eds.), Cognitive grammar in literature, 69–82. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/lal.17.05broSearch in Google Scholar

Browse, Sam. 2016a. ‘This is not the end of the world’: Situating metaphor in the text-worlds of the 2008 economic crisis. In Joanna Gavins & Ernestine Lahey (eds.), World building: Discourse in the mind, 183–203. London: Bloomsbury.Search in Google Scholar

Browse, Sam. 2016b. Revisiting text world theory and extended metaphor: Situating metaphor in the text-worlds of the 2008 financial crisis. Language & Literature 25. 8–37.10.1177/0963947015608969Search in Google Scholar

Browse, Sam. 2018. Cognitive rhetoric: The cognitive poetics of political discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/lal.31Search in Google Scholar

Carter, Ronald & Peter Stockwell. 2008. Stylistics: Retrospect & prospect. In Ronald Carter & Peter Stockwell (eds.), The language & literature reader, 291–302. London: Routledge.10.4324/9781003060789-32Search in Google Scholar

Clark, Billy. 2009. Salient inferences: Pragmatics and The Inheritors . Language & Literature 18. 173–212.10.1177/0963947009105343Search in Google Scholar

Fairclough, Norman. 2001. Language and Power (2nd edition). Harlow: Longman.Search in Google Scholar

Fielding, Henry. 1964 [1743]. Jonathan wild and journal of a voyage to lisbon (ed. A.R. Humphreys). London: Dent.Search in Google Scholar

Fish, Stanley. 1980. Is there a text in this class? The authority of interpretative communities. London; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Forrest, Linda. 1996. Discourse goals and attentional processes in sentence production: the dynamic construal of events. In Adele Goldberg (ed.) Conceptual structure discourse and language, 149–161. Stanford, CA: CSLI.Search in Google Scholar

Fowler, Roger. 1986. Linguistic Criticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Gavins, Joanna. 2005. (Re)thinking modality: A text-world perspective. Journal of Literary Semantics 34. 79–93.10.1515/jlse.2005.34.2.79Search in Google Scholar

Gavins, Joanna. 2007. Text world theory: An introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.10.1515/9780748629909Search in Google Scholar

Gavins, Joanna. 2012. Leda and the stylisticians. Language & Literature 21. 345–362.10.1177/0963947012444959Search in Google Scholar

Gavins, Joanna & Ernestine Lahey. 2016. World building: Discourse in the mind. London: Bloomsbury.Search in Google Scholar

Gibbons, Alison. 2012. Multimodality, cognition and experimental literature. London: Routledge.10.4324/9780203803219Search in Google Scholar

Giovanelli, Marcello. 2017. ‘Nothing is reliable & nobody is trustworthy’: Blackouts, uncertainties and event construal in The Girl On The Train. Language & Literature 26. 38–51.Search in Google Scholar

Giovanelli, Marcello & Chloe Harrison. 2018. Cognitive grammar in stylistics. London: Bloomsbury.10.5040/9781474298957Search in Google Scholar

Goatly, Andrew. 2011. The language of metaphors. Abingdon: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Golding, William. 2011 [1955]. The Inheritors. London: Faber & Faber.Search in Google Scholar

Halliday, Michael A.K. 1966. Descriptive linguistics in literary studies. In Michael A.K. Halliday & Angus McIntosh (eds.), Patterns of language: Papers in general, descriptive and applied linguistics, 56–69. London: Longman.Search in Google Scholar

Halliday, Michael A.K. 1971. Linguistic function & literary style: An inquiry into the language of William Golding’s The Inheritors. In Seymour Chatman (ed.), Literary style: A symposium, 330–368. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Halliday, Michael A.K. 1984. Language as Social Semiotic: The social interpretation of language & meaning. London: Edward Arnold.Search in Google Scholar

Halliday, Michael K. & Ruqaiya Hasan. 1976. Cohesion in English. Abingdon: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Halliday, Michael K. & Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen. 2014. An introduction to functional grammar. London; New York: Routledge.10.4324/9780203783771Search in Google Scholar

Hamilton, Craig. 2003. A cognitive grammar of ‘Hospital Barge’ by Wilfred Owen. In Joanna Gavins & Gerard Steen (eds.), Cognitive poetics in practice, 55–66. London: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Harrison, Chloe. 2017a. Cognitive grammar in contemporary fiction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/lal.26Search in Google Scholar

Harrison, Chloe. 2017b. Finding Elizabeth: Construing memory in Elizabeth is missing by Emma Healey. The Journal of Literary Semantics 46. 131–151.10.1515/jls-2017-0008Search in Google Scholar

Harrison, Chloe, Louise Nuttall, Peter Stockwell & Wenjuan Yuan (eds). 2014. Cognitive Grammar in Literature. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/lal.17Search in Google Scholar

Hart, Chris. 2014. Discourse, Grammar and Ideology: Functional and Cognitive Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury.Search in Google Scholar

Hidalgo-Downing, Laura. 2000. Negation in discourse: A text-world approach to Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Language & Literature 9. 215–240.10.1177/096394700000900302Search in Google Scholar

Hidalgo-Downing, Laura. 2002. Creating things that are not: The role of negation in the poetry of Wislawa Szymborska’. Journal of Literary Semantics 30. 113–132.10.1515/jlse.2002.012Search in Google Scholar

Hoover, David. 1999. Language & style in The Inheritors. Lanham. MD & Oxford: University Press of America.Search in Google Scholar

Jeffries, Lesley. 2000. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater: In defence of theoretical eclecticism in stylistics. PALA Occasional Papers [online]. <http://www.pala.ac.uk/resources.html> (accessed 14 July 2017).Search in Google Scholar

Jeffries, Lesley. 2010. Critical stylistics: The power of English. Basingstoke: Palgrave.10.1007/978-1-137-04516-4Search in Google Scholar

Lakoff, George & Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Lakoff, George & Mark Turner. 1989. More than cool reason: A field guide to poetic metaphor. Chicago: Chicago University Press.10.7208/chicago/9780226470986.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Langacker, Ronald. 1987. Foundations of cognitive grammar, Vol I. Theoretical prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Langacker, Ronald. 1991. Foundations of cognitive grammar, Vol II. Descriptive application. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Langacker, Ronald. 2008. Cognitive grammar: A basic introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Leech, Geoffrey & Mick Short. 2007. Style in Fiction: An Introduction to English Fictional Prose (2nd Edition). Harlow: Longman.Search in Google Scholar

Montgomery, Martin. 1995. An Introduction to Language and Society (2nd Edition). London; New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Mills, Sarah. 1995. Feminist stylistics. London: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Nahajec, Lisa. 2009. Negation and the creation of implicit meaning in poetry. Language & Literature 18. 109–127.10.1177/0963947009105340Search in Google Scholar

Nell, Victor. 1988. The psychology of reading for pleasure: needs and gratifications. Reading Research Quarterly, 23(1), 6–50.10.2307/747903Search in Google Scholar

Nuttall, Louise. 2014. Constructing a text-world for The Handmaid’s Tale. In Chloe Harrison, Louise Nuttall, Peter Stockwell & Wenjuan Yuan (eds.), Cognitive grammar in literature, 83–99. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/lal.17.06nutSearch in Google Scholar

Nuttall, Louise. 2015. Attributing minds to vampires in Richard Matheson’s. Language & Literature 24. 23–39.10.1177/0963947014561834Search in Google Scholar

Nuttall, Louise. 2018. Mind style and cognitive grammar: Language and worldview in speculative fiction. London: Bloomsbury.Search in Google Scholar

Palmer, Stephen, Eleanor Rosch & Paul Chase. 1981. Canonical perspective and the perception of objects. In John Long & Alan Baddeley (eds.), Attention and performance, IX, 135–151. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Search in Google Scholar

Semino, Elena. 2002. A cognitive stylistics approach to mind-style in fiction. In Elena Semino & Jonathan Culpeper (eds.), Cognitive stylistics, 95–122. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/lal.1.07semSearch in Google Scholar

Semino, Elena. 2011. Deixis and fictional minds. Style 5. 418–440.Search in Google Scholar

Semino, Elena. 2014. Pragmatic failure, mind style and characterisation in fiction about autism. Language & Literature 23. 141–158.10.1177/0963947014526312Search in Google Scholar

Simpson, Paul. 1993. Language, ideology & point of view. Abingdon: Routledge.10.4324/9780203312612Search in Google Scholar

Stockwell, Peter. 2002. Cognitive Poetics: An Introduction. London: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Stockwell, Peter. 2009. Texture: A cognitive aesthetics of reading. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.10.1515/9780748631209Search in Google Scholar

Stockwell, Peter. 2014a. Atmosphere and tone. In Peter Stockwell & Sara Whiteley (eds.), The cambridge handbook of stylistics, 360–374. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9781139237031.027Search in Google Scholar

Stockwell, Peter. 2014b. War, worlds and cognitive grammar. In Chloe Harrison, Louise Nuttall, Peter Stockwell & Wenjuan Yuan (eds.), Cognitive grammar in literature, 19–34. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/lal.17.02stoSearch in Google Scholar

Talmy, Leonard. 2000a. Toward a cognitive semantics, Vol. I: Concept structuring systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.10.7551/mitpress/6847.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Talmy, Leonard. 2000b. Toward a cognitive semantics, Vol. II: Typology & process in concept structuring. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.10.7551/mitpress/6848.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Werth, Paul. 1977. The linguistics of double-vision. The Journal of Literary Semantics 6. 3–28.10.1515/jlse.1977.6.1.3Search in Google Scholar

Werth, Paul. 1994. Extended metaphor: A text world account. Language & Literature 3. 79–103.10.1177/096394709400300201Search in Google Scholar

Werth, Paul. 1999. Text worlds: Representing conceptual space in discourse. London: Longman.Search in Google Scholar

Widdowson, Henry G. 1975. Stylistics and the teaching of literature. London: Longman.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2018-11-03
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 2.2.2023 from https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/jls-2018-2003/html
Scroll Up Arrow