Reporting verbs as a stylistic device in the creation of fictional personalities in literary texts

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Reporting verbs as a stylistic device in the creation of fictional personalities in literary texts

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Title: Reporting verbs as a stylistic device in the creation of fictional personalities in literary texts
Author: Ruano San Segundo, Pablo
Abstract: Este artículo presenta un análisis de cómo los verbos informativos pueden contribuir a la creación de personalidades ficticias en textos literarios. El examen de los verbos se llevó a cabo utilizando la taxonomía de Caldas-Coulthard (1987), en la cual los verbos se clasifican en categorías autónomas de acuerdo con el nivel de mediación del reportero en las palabras glosadas. Los ejemplos bajo análisis fueron tomados de Nicholas Nickleby (1839) de Charles Dickens. En aras de la coherencia, me centré en un personaje, Ralph Nickleby, cuyas palabras se informan utilizando veintiseis verbos un total de 501 veces a lo largo de la historia. Como se mostrará, la elección de verbos de Dickens proyecta una forma específica de hablar que genera información sobre la personalidad del villano, contribuyendo así a dar forma a su conocido y malvado personaje. El análisis también ilustrará cómo los verbos informativos pueden influir en la forma en que los lectores crean una impresión de los personajes sobre la base de su forma de hablar durante el curso de una historia.This article presents an analysis of how reporting verbs can contribute to the creation of fictional personalities in literary texts. The examination of verbs was carried out using Caldas-Coulthard’s (1987) taxonomy, in which verbs are classified in self-contained categories according to the reporter’s level of mediation on the words glossed. The examples under analysis were all taken from Charles Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby (1839). For the sake of consistency, I focused on one character, Ralph Nickleby, whose words are reported using twenty-six verbs a total of 501 times throughout the story. As will be shown, Dickens’s choice of verbs projects a specific way of speaking that triggers information about the villain’s personality, thereby contributing to shaping his well-known evil character. The analysis will also illustrate how reporting verbs can influence the way in which readers form an impression of characters on the basis of their ways of speaking during the course of a story.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10662/8074
Date: 2017


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