By Paul Lennon
This corpus-based research of allusions within the British press indicates the diversity of goals reporters 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 types allusions take and demonstrates how allusions functionality meaningfully in discourse. It explores the character of the history cultural and intertextual wisdom allusions call for of readers and units out the processing phases considering knowing an allusion. Allusion is built-in into latest theories of oblique language and associated with idioms, wordplay and metaphor.
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Additional info for Allusions in the Press: An Applied Linguistic Study
The attention-catching power of “purposive ambiguity” may be linked to Jakobson’s “poetic function” of language (Kittay 1987: 80).
Particularly common was allusive blending of two proverbial sayings. An example Ricks gives is “out of the fire into the frying pan – but still, of course, any frying pan in a fire” (Austin 1979: 77). This reverses “out of the frying pan into the fire” by means of lexical permutation, and then tampers with “any port in a storm” by replacing “port” by “frying pan” and “storm” by “fire”. The result is a blending of two separate schemata for the organisation of knowledge. This induces a new schema which expands on the existing ones by drawing on the reader’s stored schematic knowledge of the literal bases of the two controlling metaphors involved.
Hearers know that speakers know they have understood the intention, and in this way by a succession of “I know that you know that I knows” mutual knowledge is built up. Conversation proceeds in steps, and at each point the participants are expecting new contributions to update the current state of mutual knowledge attained. Grice (1975: 45) formulated this as the “Co-operative Principle”: “Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged”.
Allusions in the Press: An Applied Linguistic Study by Paul Lennon