To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Once upon a time… If a text starts like this, you will immediately have specific expectations as to how it will continue. While Once upon a time is a typical beginning for a fairy tale or children’s story, it would not normally work as an opener for a chapter in a textbook. The phrase is an example of how linguistic features are associated with particular texts, and how language creates effects and expectations in the reader. There are many ways in which the choice of words shapes a text. Stylistics is the study of linguistic features that make a text distinctive. And style, as Wales (2001, p. 371) puts it, is “the set or sum of features that seem to be characteristic: whether of register, genre, or period, etc.” Which linguistic features we select in a stylistic analysis depends on what we want to capture. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter starts: “Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits…” The Tale of Two Bad Mice starts in a similar way: “Once upon a time there was a very beautiful doll’s-house…” Both are stories for children and begin in a conventional way. Although both texts are by Beatrix Potter, and she begins several of her tales with once upon a time, this is not the only characteristic of her style. To describe the style of an author it is important to compare their writing to that of other authors.
Accounts of Dickens's language highlight the variety of stylistic devices that can be found in his writings (cf. e.g. Stewart, Plummer). Ingham observes that Dickens ‘deploys every available linguistic resource’ (126). However, relatively little attention seems to have been given to specific patterns and the functions they fulfil in the creation of fictional worlds. This article sets out to illustrate how computer-assisted methods can support the analysis of linguistic devices and the effects they create in the text. The focus will be on two resources in particular: repeated sequences of words and suspended quotations. The strength of computer-assisted approaches is typically seen in the potential that quantification offers, for instance, for the comparison of stylistic features in writings of different authors. The present approach, however, is less interested in the detailed quantification of features than in the functions of the patterns that become visible when a number of examples form the evidential basis for textual analysis. When cues in the text guide an analysis it becomes text-driven. This article will show how links can be made between a text-driven approach and wider concerns in literary criticism – in particular the creation of characters in fictional worlds. I will look at how descriptions of body language contribute to the externalised techniques of characterisation which John has argued are rooted in Dickens's narrative prose. Patterns that are found with the help of corpus methods also relate to linguistic resources that Rosenberg describes as the ‘language of doubt’.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.