Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Literature as Discourse
Widdowson (1975) says that there are two opposing reasons why literature has attractedthe attention of so many linguists. Firstly, it represents data that can be accounted for in termsof models of linguistic description. Secondly, it represents data which can not be accountedfor. Besides, he also distinguishes literature into “literature as text” and “literature asdiscourse”. In fact, linguists often find that many uses of language which can not be explainedby grammatical rules do make sense, because any piece of language is not just anexemplification of linguistic categories, but also a piece of communication. Feng Zongxin(2002) holds that “any piece of communication, http://www.51lunwen.org/yywxlw/ spoken or written, is discourse ofone kind or another… a text is static, and a discourse is dynamic. What is ungrammatical anddeviant on the level of text is acceptable, interpretable, communicable and significant on thelevel of discourse. ” Cluysenaar (1976) views literature as acts of communication. Fowler(1981) regards literature as processes rather than objects, based on his theory of “literature associal discourse”, following Halliday’s model of “language as social semiotic” (Halliday1978).And Hidalgo-Downing (2000) claims the consideration of literature as discourse hastwo important consequences. On the one hand, it is a theoretic consideration of the nature ofliterariness. On the other hand, it makes literature available for analysis from pragmaticperspectives and for an analysis of the status of literature as a social phenomenon, aspectswhich are within the interests of systemic linguistics.
1.2 Negation in Discourse
From the traditional point of view, negation is a logical operator that reverses the truthvalue of a proposition. Its status as a semantic concept in much of the literature has beenstudied a lot. However, researchers in pragmatics and some other related disciplines have already regarded negation as an element that creates specific discourse pragmatic functions.The negative statements can be part of any functional or pragmatic classification just in thesame way as affirmative statements are. For their different properties are accounted for, theyhave different functions. The analysis of negation should be carried out on the discourse andpragmatic properties of negation in context.Leech (1983) defines pragmatics as the study of how utterances have meaning insituations. Levision (1983) states “pragmatics is the study of those relations betweenlanguages and context that are grammaticalized or encoded in the structure of the language”Mey (1993) gives a broader sense to context, the context of society. According to him,“pragmatics is the study of the conditions of human language uses as these are determined bythe context of society.” There is no pragmatic study can be done without actual situation ofcontext. Thus, it is necessary to concern with context in the pragmatic study of negation. Givón (1989) holds that “pragmatics is an approach to description… at its core lies the notion ofcontext”, and a real understanding of negation must take contextual factors into account, butnot just regard it as a simple reverse of the truth value just as in the logical tradition.Therefore, we need real examples in real contexts for meaningful pragmatic studies ofnegation (Jordan 1998).
1.3 Significance of This Study
This study makes an analyses of negation based on conversational implicature, relevancetheory and presupposition and explores the discourse functions of negation with thediscussion of relevant extracts from Paul Auster’s master work City of Glass. It puts forward adiscourse analysis model of negation which is differ from the previous semantic orientedstudies and illustrates the functions of negation within the specific context of City ofGlass. Itwill be a good attempt at the combination of linguistics and literature.