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Form as fiction

Fabb, Nigel (2004) Form as fiction. Belgian Journal of English Language and Literature, New serie (2). pp. 63-73.

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Abstract

Form holds of a text either by inference or as the output of a specialized computation. Linguistic pragmatics explains many aspects of literary form, understood as holding by inference; other aspects of literary form appear to involve specialized computations similar to those seen in phonology or syntax. Representations of form can be tagged as fictions, and take on the special protected epistemic status of fiction. Where literary form appears to involve intervention into linguistic computations (protecting otherwise ungrammatical forms from crashing), these forms might operate under the protection of fiction.