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By Paul Lennon

This corpus-based examine of allusions within the British press exhibits the variety of objectives 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 historical past cultural and intertextual wisdom allusions call for of readers and units out the processing phases thinking about knowing an allusion. Allusion is built-in into present theories of oblique language and associated with idioms, wordplay and metaphor.

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Extra info for Allusions in the Press: An Applied Linguistic Study

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Minsky (1975) suggested that schematic knowledge is stored in “frames”, which consist of certain fixed values and certain open slots to accommodate variables that are optional features and may be modified by incoming data. For frame representations which describe locations and situations, rather than objects, for example, Minsky used the term “scenario”. This idea was taken up by Schank and Abelson (1977), who used the term “script” for large-scale frames which describe routinised institutional events in terms of actors, objects, setting, props, sequence of events, with various slots for optional extras and variations.

On the other hand, writing lacks the meaning contribution of prosody, which in speech can resolve potential ambiguity, and face to face interaction is also precluded in the written mode (Chafe 1994: 42). In conversation, meanings may be negotiated by the speakers. In written text, interrogating the writer is precluded, but contextual assumptions Meaning and context 27 can be triggered or modified by the language itself. It is in this sense that the reader interrogates the text. For example, a foregrounded formal tone may alert a reader to an ironic intention, which will predispose him to interpret the sentence as ironic.

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.

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