Baltic accent

2020 Vol. 11 № 1

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The mutual similarity of meanings and structures in a literary text



This paper discusses a discourse grounding strategy that has not been described before. It is shown that the fragments of a literary text that are perceived as impressive, aphoristic, etc., tend to have a set of recurrent features. Firstly, in such fragments, there often is mutual re­flectedness of meanings (it emerges in metaphors, similes, parallelisms, or juxtapositions of contradictory notions). Second, mutual reflectedness goes through pronounced detrivializa­tion, i.e it is emphasised using special means, one of which is the ostentatious intricacy of the text usually achieved through amphiboly, or intended ambiguity. Thirdly, there is usually a strong anaphoric link between such fragments and the preceding text, i. e. a link between sub­jects and/or objects (this does not exclude adjunct-based links). Fourthly, the type of discourse relation between such fragments and the previous text is highly predictable. The main conclu­sion drawn in the article is that the described set of properties, which is instrumental in discourse grounding, is widely used in literature, on the one hand, and it is much more complex than the grounding devices earlier studied by narratology.


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