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Communication and the representation of thought: the use of audience directed expressions in free indirect thought representations

By D Blakemore

Abstract

This paper examines the use of audience-directed or inherently communicative expressions(discourse markers and interjections) in free indirect thought representations\ud in fiction. It argues that the insights of Banfield’s (1982) no-narrator approach to free indirect style can be accommodated in a relevance theoretic framework. The\ud result is an account in which the author’s act of revealing a character’s thoughts communicates a guarantee of optimal relevance – a guarantee which justifies the\ud effort which the reader invests in deriving meta-representations of those thoughts from the evidence which the author provides. However, the reward for this effort\ud is a meta-representation of a character’s thoughts which is unmediated by the thoughts of the author who is responsible for producing the text. Using examples\ud from fiction, I show that within this framework, the use of procedurally encoded discourse markers and interjections contribute to this sense of immediacy by\ud imposing constraints on interpretation which leave the reader with the responsibility for deriving his own interpretations of a character’s thoughts and thought\ud processes

Topics: P1, mem_text_and_place
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
OAI identifier: oai:usir.salford.ac.uk:2691

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