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Linguistics in the Study and Teaching of Literature

Fabb, Nigel (2008) Linguistics in the Study and Teaching of Literature. Language and Linguistics Compass, 2 (6). pp. 1135-1147. ISSN 1749-818X

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Abstract

Literary texts include linguistic form, as well as specialized literary forms (some of which also involve language). Linguistics can offer to literary studies an understanding of these kinds of form, and the ways by which a text is used to communicate meaning. In order to cope with the great variety of creative uses of language in literature, linguistics must acknowledge that some texts are assigned structure by non-linguistic means, but the boundaries between linguistic and non-linguistic explanations for literary language are not clearly drawn. The article concludes with discussion of what kinds and level of linguistics might usefully be taught in a literature classroom, and offers practical suggestions for the application of linguistics to literature teaching.