By Paul Lennon
This corpus-based research of allusions within the British press exhibits the variety of goals newshounds allude to - from Shakespeare to television soaps, from Jane Austen to Hillary Clinton, from hymns to nursery rhymes, proverbs and riddles. It analyzes the linguistic kinds allusions take and demonstrates how allusions functionality meaningfully in discourse. It explores the character of the heritage cultural and intertextual wisdom allusions call for of readers and units out the processing phases desirous about realizing an allusion. Allusion is built-in into current theories of oblique language and associated with idioms, wordplay and metaphor.
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Chapter Three will review relevant previous work on allusion. ). ). ). ). Although in themselves not fully-fledged allusions, these demonstrate the links between allusion and both metaphor and punning. Chapter Four presents the findings of the empirical study which are relevant to Aim 1 (identification, quantification and classification of allusions). ), allusions in the corpus will be assigned to six classes according to the type of target alluded to (quotations, titles, proverbs, text-bound formulae, names, set phrases) and the number of occurrences in each target class will be given.
Hymes (1974: 55) distinguished between physical and psychological aspects of locational context, using the terms “setting” and “scene”. “Setting” refers to the time, place and physical circumstances of a speech act, while “scene” refers to the “psychological setting”, “the cultural definition of an occasion as a certain type of scene”, which may vary in an unchanged setting “from formal to informal, serious to festive, or the like” (Hymes 1974: 55). In the case of written text, precisely because reader and writer are separated in time and space, the concept of context of situation involves a duality: the circumstances in which the text is read and the circumstances in which the text was produced.
It is always necessary to read the text itself to recognise this. Apart from problems of defining a closed set of targets to be searched for and of identifying allusive versus non-allusive uses of the target, a computer search would have to be able to identify not only verbatim reproductions of the target but modifications of the target. Most allusions do not in fact involve verbatim reproduction, and, although certain techniques of modification are frequent, it is not possible to specify all possible modifications to a target which may be employed for allusion.
Allusions in the Press: An Applied Linguistic Study by Paul Lennon