Opening Windows on Texts and Discourses of the Past

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Janne Skaffari
John Benjamins Publishing, Jan 1, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 416 pages
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This volume presents a variety of pragmatic and discourse analytical approaches to a wide range of linguistic data and historical texts, including data from English, French, Irish, Latin, and Spanish. This diversity of research questions and methods is a feature of the field of historical pragmatics, which by its very nature has to take into account the multiplicity of historical contexts and the infinite variety of human interaction. This is highlighted in the book s introduction by means of the metaphor of "opening windows." Each chapter is a window affording a different view of the linguistic and textual landscape. Some of these windows were opened by historical linguists who have acquired discourse perspectives, some by pragmaticians with historical interests, and others by literary scholars drawing from linguistic pragmatics. Contributors include L. J. Brinton, A. H. Jucker, F. Salager-Meyer, I. Taavitsainen, B. Wehr, L. Wright, and sixteen others.

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This book on drama and its discourse analysis is inspiring and also entertaining, especially the part that deals with "rupture of coherence" in dramatic discourse.


An early tobacco controversy
A diachronic and crosscultural outlook
The underlying pattern of the Renaissance botanical genre pinax
Loci communes in English
Selfdeprecating discourse
Discourse on a par with syntax or the effects of the linguistic organisation
The usage of rupture of coherence in Senecas tragedies
The case of I say
The evolution of the discourse marker voire in French
Politeness as a distancing device in the passive and in indefinite pronouns
Discourse features of codeswitching in legal reports in late medieval England
Focusing strategies in Old French and Old Irish
Medieval mixedlanguage business discourse and the rise of Standard English
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