Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 34

1 Mind style Mind style is a concept introduced by Halliday and developed by Roger Fowler.

It is a concept, which looks at the way in which the linguistic choices that an author makes reflect his worldview. Leech and Short(1981) and Mick Short(1996) use the word mind style as synonym to the word World view. Fowler uses the word mind style to refer to the way in which the fictional world is presented to the reader or the way in which a particular character looks at the objective world. Fowler defines mind style as --- any distinctive linguistic presentation of an individual mental self (Fowler, 1977:103). The word linguistic is important here. As Fowler says --- consistent structural options, agreeing in cutting the presented world to one pattern or another, give rise to an impression of the world view (Fowler, 1977: 76). In other words, mind style refers, not to the object referred to in a text, but to the way in which that object is seen, the way in which --that world is apprehended, or

conceptualized (Leech and Short, 1981:187). Any objective world, fictional or otherwise, is seen through a consciousness that conceptualizes the world to suit its own needs or its own limitations. And in fiction, the language used- either by the particular author or by a particular character in a novel- makes explicit the conceptualization of the world that can be either conscious or subconscious. Leech and Short give a very good example to show how a consciousness can apprehend reality in a startlingly fresh way. The example is from Ulysses, where the narrator says, Bob Cowleys out stretched talons gripped the black deep sounding

chords (see Leech and Short, 1981). The narrator is describing someone playing a piano.

2 The choice of the lexical item talon to refer to hand and the unusual collocation of black with sound give rise to a unique view of a very ordinary activity like playing the piano. Thus, fictional world is seen through the consciousness of a person who sees it in a way that tells us a lot about his way of cutting the world in to a pattern. As Fowler says, By assigning a consistent type of semantic structure to a character--- the novelist is able to convey not only the sequence of a characters thoughts---but also the implicit structure and quality of his outlook (Fowler, 1977:104). However, mind style need not be restricted to a particular character. There are different levels at which mind style can operate. It can be used at the level of character portrayal, as Halliday has shown in the analysis of The Inheritors (see Halliday, 2002). Here the novelist William Golding is consciously using particular semantic and syntactic constructions to portray the character of a Neanderthal man. The language is a result of the limitations of the Neanderthal mans linguistic and cognitive abilities. But the concept of mind style can be applied to a writer as a whole, in which case it can indicate the writers social and ideological leanings. We can apply it to one single text or it can manifest itself in a single passage. As Prakasam says, Mind style can be ascribed to an author per se as seen through his writings. It can be for a novel as such. It can also be for a particular character or even a particular event (Prakasam, 1999:36). Prakasam also talks about the different ways in which the mind style is linguistically manifested. The following aspects can be considered as importanti. participant relations in the clause

3 ii. lexical structures iii. syntactic structures iv. textual relations v. patterns of cohesion vi. figures of speech (Prakasam, 1999: 36). These can lead to different kinds of mind style. For example, a style can be either objective or subjective (see Leech and Short, 1981). The style can be neutral, as if the narrator is giving a mere photographic impression of the scene or the character. It can be extremely subjective, where the narrator continually modifies his statements with words like seemed, appeared, etc. Different writers have different mind styles. And it is not necessary that the complexity of the mind styles is manifested in high brow literature only. As literature is one of the discourses, the complex processes that are involved in discourses will be there in literature, whether it is highbrow or lowbrow. Hence, it is not wrong to look for the subtleties of mind style in a form like that of detective fiction. Let us try to look at some mind styles seen in detective fiction keeping the above points in mind. Following Leech and Short, who try to look at some passages from different novels which deal with similar themes, let us try to look at passages that deal with characterization and setting elements in some detective novels. Our first example is from

4 the novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. Let us see the way in which the narrator describes the master detective Hercule Poirot. Over the wall, to my left, there appeared a face. An egg shaped head, partially covered with suspiciously black hair, two immense moustaches, and a pair of watchful eyes. It was our mysterious neighbour, Mr porrott. He broke at once into fluent apologies. (pg.32) I see, I said, rather amused by this patent snobbery, as I thought it. But the little man went on with an almost grandiloquent smirk. (pg.37) These passages tell us a lot about how the narrator sees Poirot and his actions. It is his strangeness that the mind of the narrator notices first. All the adjectives used to describe Poirot indicate something strange. And his actions are also described in an interesting way. In the first sentence, (there appeared a face), we have an intransitive construction and the next sentence that refers to some action by Poirot has an ergative verb (broke). In both the cases, Poirot is not in the actor role. In the first sentence it is as if the face of Poirot acts on its own (also note the inversion that foregrounds the word face, thereby stressing the strangeness of the face) and in the second sentence also Poirot involuntarily breaks into fluent apologies. Even the fact that Poirot was watchful is presented, not with a verb that has Poirot as the actor, but with a noun phrase with a noun

5 modified by an adjective, (a pair of watchful eyes). To the narrator Poirot does not smirk, but goes on with a smirk. The narrator is seeing here a man who seems to be without control over his own actions, a harmless little man (how mistaken the narrator is in his judgments is proved when Poirot finds the criminal). We can change the sentences and see how someone else could have described the same actions A man was looking over the wall He apologized He smirked The point here is not whether or not Poirot has control over his actions, but that the narrator sees certain objective phenomena and chooses some linguistic forms of representing those actions which reveal more about his mind than about the character of the thing described. While the narrator is drawing his conclusions about Poirot that he is a harmless little man, the writer is also pointing out to us many things about the narrator. If we look at some other linguistic forms used by the narrator, this point becomes clearer. Whenever the narrator makes some judgments, he uses some qualifying phrase (rather, as I thought it, etc.). He seems to be a man who is not sure of his judgments and this point is proved correct by the end of the novel when we come to know that the narrator is indeed a man who has made wrong judgments. In addition, he seems to be a social snob who judges things from the point of view of upper classes. Look at the following paragraphMy ideas were completely upset. I could not see Ackroyd taking a hairdresser into his confidence, and discussing the marriage of

6 his niece and stepson with him. Ackroyd extends a genial patronage to the lower orders, but he has a very great sense of his own dignity. (pg.37) To him, it is completely natural that an upper class man will not confide in a man belonging to the lower order, and hairdresser, according to him, belongs to the lower order. Our next example is from the novel O Is for Outlaw by Sue Crafton. Here again we have a narrator who is describing a person. His face was a big ruddy square, his sunburn extending into the V of his open-collared denim work shirt. He wore his dark hair combed straight back, and I could see the indentation at his temples where he had removed the baseball cap now sitting on the tale next to him. He had a wide nose, drooping upper lids and bags under his eyes. ---His shoulders were beefy and his fore arms looked thick where he had his sleeves rolled up. (pg.8) Here again the description tells us something about the mind style of the narrator. The narrator is a professional detective whose profession demands that she observe things and persons accurately and dispassionately. In this example, most of the sentences are of the x be y structures. Usually, x is a noun phrase and the verb is followed by an adjective phrase. There are no non-factive, psychological verbs like seemed, looked etc. This style is a good example of what Leech and Short call objective style. The impression created as that of a description which is unmitigated by any mediating presence.

7 The overwhelming presence of state verbs also gives the impression of a photograph like accuracy. Thus, here we have a narrator who can look at an object in the real world and describe it without adding anything to it. This mind style can be called a very neutral style. Here, the impression created is that the narrator is --- simply providing a passive record, just like a photograph, of a mans appearance (Leech and Short, 1981: 195). A similar kind of difference in mind style can be seen in the setting elements also. Let us look at the following setting descriptions from the novel The Case of the Fenced in Woman by Erle Stanley Gardner The house was a long, low structure with artificially weathered thick shingles. --- The driveway which approached the house was bisected by a five strand barbed wire fence, anchored to a concrete post in the middle of the driveway. The living room was sumptuously furnished and lighted by concealed lights which gave the room an atmosphere of soft moonlight. About one-third of the room was separated by the taught strands of the barbed wire fence, which ran in a mathematically straight line directly through the house and through the wall. (Pg. 16). Most of the sentences of the passage are of the x be y type, where x is the noun phrase. The noun phrase is not always a simple one, and some times includes relative clauses.

8 There are no abstract nouns and no verbs of perception. There are no psychological verbs and no non-factive verbs. For example, look at the sentence The living room was sumptuously furnished and lighted by concealed lights which gave the room an atmosphere of soft moonlight. If we use a non-factive psychological verb (There seemed to be an appearance of soft moonlight) the effect will be different. This is another example of the neutral mind style. Compare it with the following passage from the novel Original Sin from P.D.JamesIt was an imposing but unremarkable Georgian house with proportions which she knew rather than felt to be graceful, and it looked a little different from the many others she had seen in Londons squares and terraces. The front door was closed and she saw no sign of activity behind the four stories of eight-paned windows, the two lowest ones each with an elegant wrought iron balcony. On either side was a smaller, less ostentatious house, standing a little distanced and detached like a pair of deferential poor relations. Pg.7 Though this passage is similar to the previous passage in that it tries to describe a scene accurately, there are some differences in the way in which the scene is seen. For example, we can try to replace ---Georgian house with proportions which she knew rather than felt to be graceful with the Georgian house was graceful. The sentences are also

9 not of x be y form. Replace, for example, It looked different with It was different. We can also see the use of metaphors that attribute human qualities to houses (like a pair of deferential poor relations). The objective world here is not presented in a neutral, objective way, but through the consciousness of an individual. This is a more subjective mind style. A more extreme kind of subjective mind style can be seen in the following passage from the novel An Excellent Mystery by Ellis PetersAugust came in, that summer of1141, tawny as a lion and somnolent and purring as a hearthside cat. After the plenteous rains of the spring the weather had settled into angelic calm and sunlight for the feast of Saint Winifred, and preserved the same benign countenance throughout the corn harvest. Lammas came for once strict to its day, the wheat fields were already gleaned and white, ready for the flocks and herds that would be turned into them to make use of what aftermath the season brought. Pg.1 In this passage, we see the pathetic fallacy at its fullest. The subjects of many sentences are inanimate objects. Further, verbs that usually take animate subjects are linked with inanimates (came with August). Plus, we have the metaphors that enforce animacy to the inanimate objects. Here, the objective world of nature is presented, not as in a photograph, but as having a life of its own.

10 Thus, mind style reflects the worldview of a writer or character. By looking at the linguistic choices that are made, we can find out how the writer or a particular character perceives the objective phenomena.


11 Christie, Agatha. 4.50 from Paddington. London: Fontana, 1957. ____________ The Murder of Joseph Ackroyd. London: Harper Collins, 2002. Fowler, Roger. Literature as Social Discourse. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981. ____________ Linguistics and the Novel. London: Methuen and Co ltd. 1977. Gardner, Erle Stanley. The Case of the Fenced in Woman.

NewYork:Ballantine Books, 1972. Grafton, Sue. O is for Outlaw. New York: Ballantine Books, 1999. Halliday, M.A.K. Linguistic Studies of Text and Discourse. London: Continuam, 2002. James, P.D. Original Sin. London: Faber and Faber, 1994.

Leech, Geoffrey N. and Michael H. Short. Style in Fiction; A linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. London: Longman, 1981.

12 Peters, Ellis An Excellent Mystery. New York: face Crest, 1985. Prakasam,V. Semiotics of Language, Literature and Culture. New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 1999. Short, Mick Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and

Prose. London: Longman, 1966.

13 Pragmatics and Pragmeme. We can study language from two important points of view. We can look at the formal aspects of language and study the structures of sentences, phrases and words. Or, we can look at the way in which language yields or constructs meaning in a linguistic community. Pragmatics looks at language from the second point of view. It looks at the way in which a sentence, a word or a phrase (i.e., any utterance) achieves meaning. Some words related to the relationship between pragmatics and the closely connected branch of linguistics, semantics, is necessary here. Both semantics and pragmatics deal with meaning. But semantics deals with sentence or word meaning whereas pragmatics deals with utterance meaning. An utterance can be said to be a concrete product of speech or writing. It refers to all aspects of the performed act of communicationthe speaker, the listener and the context. Pragmatics is the study of utterances because it studies --- how hearers add contextual information to the semantic structure and how they draw inferences from what is said (Jaszczolt,2002: 1). Before we go further, let us look at an example to illustrate the role of context in determining meaning. Look at the following hypothetical exchangeA- Shall we have breakfast? B- But I have not had my bath yet. Bs answer may look as irrelevant to many people. But most Indians would understand that Bs answer would actually mean a relevant response, particularly if B is a

14 religious man, because there are people in India who think that it is not proper to eat before talking bath. Thus, context determines the meaning of a sentence. Let us now look some of ways in which context operates in determining meaning. Three factors play a role in determining the meaning of a linguistic expression. They area. the immediate context of the communicative situation. b. the knowledge of the linguistic conventions. c. our knowledge of the world. The example given above shows how our knowledge of the facts about the world we live in influences the way we understand utterances. Let us look at another exampleThe Indian Prime minister and the finance minister met the leading industrialists today. Here, our knowledge of the Indian politics will tell us that the subject of the sentence refers to two persons. In addition to that, our knowledge of the linguistic conventions determines meaning. That is how we understand phatic communication. We do not usually respond to a greeting like good morning with the retort no, it is not. The way we understand literature and poetry depends to a large extent on our understanding of the linguistic

15 conventions of literature. We can respond to a story beginning with Once upon a time, in a far off land---, only because our knowledge of the linguistic conventions tell us that this a fairy tale. The immediate context of the communicative situation also determines the meaning of an utterance. For example, let us look at the following exampleThank You C.I.E.F.L. If the above utterance appears on board in the campus, we will understand that it means that C.I.E.F.L. is thanking us. But if it is on a banner in a function organized by students, we will infer that students are thanking C.I.E.F.L. Thus, our understanding of any utterance is based on the pragmatics of the utterance, and it this role of the context that pragmatics studies. PragmemePragmeme can be considered as the minimal unit of the pragmatic content of the language, just as sememe is the minimal unit of the semantic content. It is concept introduced by Prakaksam(1986). He says The semantic primes are sememes and the pragmatic primes are pragmemes (1986: 79). But as Prakasam says, what is pragmatic in one context can be semantic in another context and what is semantic in context can be pragmatic in another context. Further, as he points out, there is an area which is fuzzy in the sense that it is difficult to label that area as either semantic or

16 pragmatic unequivocally. He uses the term semantico-pragmatico threshold to refer to such areas. Let us now look at some instances of language use that reflect these concepts. We can look at some lexemes and see how the concepts of sememe, pragmeme and threshold can be illustrated. The sememes of the word boy will be human, male, etc. but the feature strong when connected with boy is clearly a Pragmeme. Similarly, the feature +holy when connected with a cow is a pragmeme in India. But there are features that do not fit into any of the two categories. As Prakasam points out the feature authority can apply to the group of lexemes master, husband, father and friend. But in the case of master it is clearly a sememe because every culture and context would accept that meaning. In case of friend, it is clearly a pragmeme because only in particular case will a friend become authoritative ( the example Prakasam gives is that of Darcy in Pride and Prejudice). But in case of husband and father, it is partly sememic and partly pragmemic. The distinction between the semantic content and the pragmatic content can be explained by looking at the propositional content of a sentence also. For example, look at the sentence she is a minor. That the person is not an adult is semantic: but whether she is eighteen or twenty is clearly pragmatic. Prakasam gives another interesting example to illustrate the difference between semantic and pragmatic implications of a sentence. The expression Six Wives of Henry VIII can imply different things to people of different cultural backgrounds. For an Englishmen, this may not lead to the implicature that Henry VIII was polygamous, but to an Asian, it will certainly seem to be the natural semantic implicatures.

17 The question of propositional semantics and pragmatics can be looked at from the following three anglesPresupposition Entailment Implicature (Prakasam,1986: 80) A sentence like Mohan is a bachelor may lead to the semantic presupposition, Mohan is not married( I think it is slightly difficult to accept that it leads to the presupposition that Mohan is of marriageable age, as Prakasam says; one may a bachelor, but may have passed the marriageable age). It leads to the semantic implicature that Mohan is yet to marry and to the semantic entailment that Mohan may get married. Similarly it may lead to the pragmatic presupposition that Mohan is an adult, pragmatic implicature that Mohan can get married and the pragmatic entailment that Mohan may be trying to get married. The question of the presuppositions becomes interesting when we look at the negative implicatures of a sentence. Look at the following sentencesa. The head of the state in America is the president. b. The head of the state in India is the president. c. The head of the state in England is the queen. d. The head of the state in Nepal is the king.

18 The statements a and b clearly lead to the implicatures that America and India are democracies. But the negation of either a are b does not lead to the implicature that America and India are not democracies. Similarly, the pragmatic force of c and d are entirely different. The fact that England is a democracy and Nepal now is not, is not a part of the semantic content of the sentences. Finally, let us look at a dialogue from a B.B.C. comedy to illustrate the role pragmatics can play in explaining the implicatures of a sentence. The situation is that of a classroom where a teacher is teaching English to non-English people. On his birthday, the students give some gifts to the teacher. Shortly afterwards, the teacher is summoned by his boss. This is the exchange that takes placeStudent a.- Perhaps she wants to give you a gift. Teacher- May be the pope is getting married. Here, the implicature of the teachers response is not that the Pope is getting married( which can be the semantic implicature), but that his boss is very unlikely to give him gifts. To arrive at this implicature, one must know both that this is part of the linguistic conventions of English and also that the Pope is supposed to be celibate. Lack of such knowledge may lead one to miss the pragmatic force of the sentence. The response of one of the students ( an Italian catholic, infact) is Santa Maria, is he?. The student has grasped the semantics of the utterance, but has failed to grasp its pragmatics.


ReferencesJaszczolt, K.M. semantics and Pragmatics London, Longman, 2002. Prakasam, V Sememe,Pragmeme and the Threshold in O.N.Koul,ed.

Language, Style and Discourse, New Delhi, Bahri Publications Ltd., 1986.

Vakrokthi as Deviation Stylistics can be defined as the linguistic study of literature. Prakasam says real stylistics --- aims at literary appreciation through language (1982,1).The study of deviance in literature can be used to do exactly this. This paper tries to look at the concept of

20 deviance and tries to relate it to the concept of Vakrokthi in Indian poetics. We will also try to illustrate some aspects of Vakrokthi with the help of a kannada folk poem. The concept of deviation is a contribution of the formalist school of literary criticism. The poetic language differs from the norm of ordinary language in many ways. The language of poetry can deviate from the ordinary language at many levelssemantic, lexical, phonological, grammatical etc. Deviation leads us to a fresh awareness of language and it is functional in the sense that it in poetry it is closely associated with the creation of aesthetic experience. Deviation is not ungrammaticality. As Prakasam says Once we free this deviance concept from the implication of incorrectness, we are close to the concept of Vakrokti(ibid, 5). It is well recognized that Indian poetics had developed rich traditions -----over a period of roughly one thousand years from Bharatha in the 1st century A.D. to Mammata in the 12th century(Ramachandran,1984: 88). In Indian poetics there have been several _ _ _ _ penetrating contributions on many issues having a distinct bearing on poetry. (Pathak, 1988: It is not that these theorists have said the last word on the subject, or said it (always) clearly or consistently; but they have certainly dealt with some of its fundamental aspects very ably.(Ibid:161) Among these theories, Vakrokti theory by Kuntaka _ _ _ _ seems to be the most systematically developed(Ramachandran, 88).Let us now look at this theory to see how it can explain the beauty of a folk poem from the point of view of deviation. Kuntaka thinks of deviation as the essence of poetry. To begin with, he makes the distinction between the adornment and the adorned, but says that such a distinction is unreal.(Krishnmurthy,1977:292) His view can be said to be a monistic view, which regards the style and the content as inseparable. He says

Poetry is that word and sense together enshrined in a style revealing the artistic (lit, out-of- the- way) creativity of the poet on the one hand and giving aesthetic delight to the man of taste on the other. (7)(Ibid:292)

21 Thus, according to him the denoter and the denoted together constitute poetry. As he says, _ _ _ _ _ neither beautiful word form alone, nor beautiful content alone can constitute real poetry(Ibid:295).The poet selects from a wide range of linguistic choices that are available to him, but this selection is not arbitrary. The function of vakrata is to give artistic delight to the man of taste. As he says, The qualification of difference from the well known linguistic usage is not enough to define poetry------. Hence, the author adds the other qualification, giving aesthetic delight to the man of taste(Ibid:299). And this aesthetic delight can be assured Only when the right verbal correlative for the particular has been found------. (Ibid:302). Thus Kuntakas concept of deviation is functional as well. We will try to keep this in mind when we analyze the poem. That is, we will not only point out the deviant linguistic expressions in the poem, but also try to mention the artistic function of the deviation. An Analysis of the Poem The Cows Song The poem The Cows song is a well-known folk poem in Kannada. The song is about the confrontation between a cow and a tiger, where the cow manages to change the nature of the tiger. As it is a very long poem, only particular stanzas are taken for detailed analyses. Where necessary, the phonetic symbols will be used. We have translated these stanzas to give an idea of the events in this narrative poem. The translation is only a rough translation and the linguistic deviations particular to Kannada are explained wherever necessary. The poem begins with a cowherd who looks after his cows very well. One day as usual, he feeds and milks all the cows and lets them graze in the forest. In the forest, a huge tiger attacks these cows and one cow, by name PuNyakoTi (lit. crores of good deeds) is caught by the tiger. The tiger is ready to devour the cow, but the cow requests the tiger to let her go to her herd to feed her calf. She promises that she will come back to be eaten by the tiger. The tiger, though skeptical, lets her go. The cow keeps her promise, and after taking leave of her son, offers herself to the tiger. But the tiger now overcomes with remorse and commits suicide. This is the overall theme of the poem. Now let us look at the linguistic deviations in the poem keeping in view Kuntakas theory.

22 Let us first look at the deviation in terms of sounds. Kuntaka says that the first variety of Vakrokti is art in the arrangement of syllables. (359) As he mainly discusses alliteration and rhyme here, we can think of this as the deviation in sound. Kuntaka makes a detailed analysis of different kinds of alliteration. He says One, two, or more syllables used again and again at short intervals constitute the three forms of art in the arrangement of syllables.(359) Here the operative word is at short intervals. Kuntaka also says that to be considered as alliteration, we should have a repetition of twice and above. He further considers that the nasals of sounds that have the same place of articulation and manner of articulation can also be considered as alliteration. For example, /m / can be used as an alliteration with labial plosives /p/ and /b/. He further says that alliteration should be in harmony with the theme. As he says-, The theme is the subject on hand. Harmony with it should be gracing the alliterations. Thus we exclude from the sphere of alliteration reiterations which reveal only the authors labours at sound effect and which are detrimental to the harmony of subject._ _ _ _ _ _ in contexts of harsh sentiments, alliterations of harsh consonants too is permitted. (361) Let us now look at some of the stanzas from the poem to examine the alliteration and how this linguistic deviation is in harmony with the theme of the poem. 14 ( The translations given are merely functional and do not claim to be poetic) Here the cowherd is calling all his cows. a) gange bare gowri bare

tungabadre nenu bare anganamaNi ninu barendu angavisi golla karedanu

23 [ come gange, come gowri/tungabadre, you too come./ Come anganamaNi/ Called the cowherd]

b) PuNyakoTiye ninu bare puNyavahini ninu bare purNaguna sampanne barendu naNyadim golla karedanu. [ PuNyakoTi, you come,/you are the path of bliss/ you brim with virtues/ called the cowherd] In these two paragraphs, the cowherd is calling his cows by name one by one. In the first stanza we have alliteration of one consonant g, r and b. We have alliteration of two sounds in n, g. The nasals of k and p (m and n) have also been used. In b), p, y and n are used repeatedly and t and n can be considered as alliteration as n is the nasal of t. Except for t, all the sounds used are soft sounds which indicate the love that the cowherd has for his cows. The difference becomes clear if we look at the alliteration pattern in the stanza that describes the dense forest. c) aTTabeTTada kibbiyoLege iTTeDeya beTTada naDuve DaTTisida sassigaLeDeyoLu muTTimedvu hullanu. [among thick forest valleys/ between hills on both sides,/ among dense foliage,/ the cows grazed.]

24 Here we have an alliteration of retroflex sounds T and D. We also have gemination here. These sounds have been repeated more than one time. As the theme is the description of a dense forest, the repetition of the harsh sounds suits the theme. The same sound pattern is seen when the poet describes the tigers attack on the cows. d) siDilu ghoSadi moreyuta huli

guDuguDisi bhoriDuta vyaghranu tuDukiyeragida rabasadindo ggoDedovaga govgalu. [with a thunder roar,/screaming and shrieking,/ rushed tiger into the herd/ which soon splintered.] Here the force of the tigers attack is very well conveyed by the repetition of the harsh sounds D, k and L. The alliteration of retroflexive sounds can again be noted. We also have gemination of retroflex sounds here. This pattern of alliteration is repeated as long as the poet is talking about the tiger, but the pattern changes as soon as the theme changes. The following paragraph deals with the humble request by the cow to the tiger to let her go at least to feed her child. d)ondu binnaha huliya rayane kandanidane maneya oLage ondu nimishadi moleya kottu bandu nanilli nilluve. [ a request, king tiger/ I have a son at home,/ Let me feed him and/ be back in a minuite.]

25 Here we see that the alliteration does not make use of any harsh sounds.n and l are the two sounds which are alliterated. Instead of retroflex sounds, we have the alliteration of nasals here.Thus, the poem shows variation in the sound pattern in the form of alliteration and it also satisfies Kuntakas demand that the alliteration should be in harmony with the theme of the poem. When emotions like love and pathos are being dealt with the poet uses soft sounds and when emotions like fear is being dealt with the harsh sounds and gemination is used. Further, the alliteration used here is not a result of linguistic circus. As Kuntaka says , alliteration can be pleasing only when it is achieved effortlessly. When it is achieved with downright craze and great labour, there will be loss to harmony with the intended meaning.(365) Let us now consider how Kuntaka deals with the deviation in terms of the word. Though Kuntaka uses categories like padapurvarda vakrata, padauttarardda vakrata etcetera, we can include all these categories under the general heading lexical deviation as all these categories deal with the basic task of the selection of an appropriate lexical category among the many possible choices. Kuntaka begins by pointing out that in poetry, words have not only denotative meanings, but also connotative meanings and the poets skill lies in using his language to bring forth these connotative meanings. He says When common denotation of words is seen to expand to include connotations of even impossible attributes imagined by the poet, or to include a hyperbolic excess of even an existing attribute as a result of the poets intent to shower extraordinary belittlement or extraordinary glorification of the theme, we get what is called art in beautifying conventional sense.(369) Kuntaka also says that there should be an aesthetic purpose for the choice that the poet has made. He makes various categories of choice. Let us look at how lexical choice in the Song of the Cow affect the aesthetic experience. As Kuntaka says, even proper nouns can be used in a deviating manner. In this poem, we have three names- one each for the cowherd, the cow and the tiger. While the cowherd having a name is not strange, the cow and the tiger having a name is certainly

26 strange and hence should be considered as deviation. The writer here, by using proper names is attributing human features to animals. The names also suit the needs of the poem. The cow is called PuNyakoTi, meaning crores of good deeds. The proper name of the cow reflects her good nature and only such a cow could have the moral power to convert the tiger. The tiger is called Arbhutha. The name does not mean anything in particular in Kannada, but the name has a harshness that suits the cruelty of the tiger. Thus, the proper knows in the poem reflect Kuntakas view that names can be used connotatively also. Using one among the various synonyms is also not an arbitrary process in poetry. As Kuntaka says _ _ _ _ while one synonym serves best to convey the meaning intended in one context, other synonym alone will be required to be used in other contexts (370). In this poem, we can see many cases where the lexical choice is significant in terms of the theme of the poem. For example, there are three synonyms for cow in kannada- hasu, govu and turu. Hasu is the commonly used word, though this poem does not use that word at all. 'turu' has a more intimate feel about it and govu has a religious connotation. The poem uses govu when talking about PuNyakoTi, there by suggesting that this cow has a religious connotation. When talking about the other cows, the generic word for animals( pasu) is used, except once where the poet says the cowherd called all the cows by name where the word turu is used. The poet seems to be singling out the cow PuNyakoTi as different from the other cows. This is reflected in case of the use of gender also. While other cows are always referred to by the neuter gender(avu-they), PuNyakoTi is often referred to by feminine gender( bandaLaga-she came, karedaLu-she called). Kuntaka says-

When two words in different gender are used to signify an identical object, a new kind of beauty will emerge which we may characterise as beauty of gender(374)

27 In this poem, feminine gender is used to talk about PuNyakoTi, though normally in Kannada neuter gender is used to talk about animals. This vakrata has two functionsone, it attributes humanness to PuNyakoTi and two, it distinguishes her from other cows. The poet uses many other deviations to show the distinctiveness of PuNyakoTi. When other cows are concerned, the word doDDi(manger) is used to refer to the place where they live. But PuNyakoTi uses the word mane (house- referring to a human abode) . Similarly, the human child is called magu in kannada where as the word for the calf is karu. But PuNykoTi uses the word magu to refer to her offspring. All these deviations are thus suitable to the theme of the poem. Lexical choice may also have a connection with the sound pattern. For example, there are two words for cloud in kannada- megha and moDa. The poet uses the word megha because in that context, a harsh aspirated plosive is suitable. Similarly, the term vyaghra for tiger is used more often in the poem than the word made of less harsh sounds-huli. Thus, it is possible that deviation in sounds and deviation in words will complement each other. Kuntaka next talks about deviation in sentence, deviation in episode and deviation in design. But these have not been taken up in this essay for two reasons. One is that the poem does not show many significant syntactic deviations and larger narratological deviations. Another reason is that Kuntakas discussions of these vakratas are not as relevant to stylistics as the vakrata in sounds and in words. For example, when talking about deviation at the level of the sentence Kuntaka deals more with figures of speech than with syntactic aspects like inversion. When talking about the deviations in episodes also he talks about the deviation from the previously known story. It is felt that in these aspects, Kuntakas views are exploratory. Hence we have concentrated on the deviations in terms of sound and words. As we have already seen, Kuntakas theories can be used to explain the beauty of the poem The Cows Song. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------



Krishnamoorthi, K. The Vakrokti Jivita of Kuntaka Karnatic university, Darwad (1977). Kushava. M.S. (Ed.) Indian Poetics and Western Thought M.S., Argo Publishing House, Lucknow, (1988). Pathak,E.S. Vakrokti and the Language of Poetry, in Indian Poetics and Western Thought, ed. M.S.Kushava, Argo Publishing House, Lucknow, (1988). Prakasam V. Stylistics of poetry Omkar Publications, 1982. Ramachandran, C.N. Vakrokti in Application in East West Poetics at Work, ed. by C.D.Narasimhaiah, Sahitya Academi, (1994). Foregrounding. Foregrounding is a term closely connected with the linguistic study of language. As a technical term, it is closely associated with terms like deviation, deautomatization, defamilarization, enstrangement etc. All these different concepts are sometimes used as synonyms of foregrounding. Halliday uses the term prominence in a similar way and defines it as the phenomenon of linguistic highlighting, whereby some features of the language of a text stand out in someway( as quoted in Prakasam, 1982: 16).

29 Though there is some fuzziness in clearly differentiating these different stylistic concepts, they all try to talk about the special use of language in literature. Hence, as starting point we can define foregrounding as a device commonly found in literary language. The term foregrounding has been used extensively to cover many different areas. The Encyclopedia of language and linguistics points out some of the different areas covered by the term foregrounding. It can be used to talk about the psychological processes by which, during the reading process, something can be given special prominence. It may refer to specific textual devices that can be located in the text itself. It can be used as an analytical device to evaluate literary texts and it was often used to establish the uniqueness of literary language. (see Asher,19--:1273). In literary criticism, the term is associated with the formalist critics of Russia. The basic notion is that the ordinary language is automatized. The structures of the ordinary language, through repeated use, have lost the ability to startle readers. Literature, by using deviant language, draws the attention of the reader to the medium and it also defamiliarizes the world for the reader. Art, thus tries to make objects unfamiliar so that --- a renewed perception of [objects] creates a fresh awareness---- beyond the stale

routines of automatized schemes (Asher, 1273). These ideas of the formalists were later on developed by the Prague school linguists, particularly Roman Jackobson. More recently, the functionalists have used the concept through their concepts of prominence, unity and rhythm(mainly Prakasam, 1982). Though the concept is a contribution by the formalists, the idea that literature uses a language different from the norm is as old as Aristotle himself. In Indian

30 poetics, Kuntaka expressed similar views. His theory of Vakrokti considers the language of poetry as deviant and this concept is not very different from the concept of foregrounding. Kuntaka talks about the various ways in which language of poetry manifests vakrata. He talks about deviation at the level of words, sentences, sounds and the at the level of the overall rhetoric of the text. This is similar to the way in which many modern stylisticians talk about deviation and foregrounding. Thus foregrounding is basically the way in which literary language deviates from the normal language and there by emphasizes or foregrounds the particular section of a line in poetry or a narrative unit in novels or short stories. Let us look at the following line from Hopkins poemLeaves, like the things of man,you With your fresh thoughts care for,can you? (Spring and Fall) Here, the normal form of the sentence would be can you care for the leaves, like the things of man with your fresh thoughts? But the poem pushes can you to the end thereby foregrounding it. This deviation has a relevance from the point of view of the meaning of the poem. The emphasis here is whether Margaret can, that is will she be able to feel so intensely when she grows old. The can here is something more than an auxiliary verb and hence it is foregrounded. One of the aims of foregrounding is to create some degree of surprise in the reader and thereby draw his attention to the form of the text:

31 this is exactly what the foregrounding does in the above example. The following line from another of Hopkins poems also illustrates the pointSome candle clear burns somewhere I come by. The Candle Indoors. Notice the unusual positioning of the word clear. The foregrounding leads to many significant questions- is the candle clear? Or is it burning clearly? Thus the poet is drawing our attention to the word clear by foregrounding it. Different critics use different types of foregrounding to illustrate the concept. At a very broad level, foregrounding can be said to manifest itself in two waysdeviation and parallelism( Asher: 1273). The example given above is a case of deviation: the poem uses structures different from the normal use. Another device of foregrounding is parallelism. Parallelism is --- characterized by repetitive structures ( part of ) a verbal configuration is repeated or contrasted, thereby being prompted to the foreground of the readers perception ( Asher: 1273). Prakasam who uses the word coupling instead of parallelism, says that coupling is the convergence of the equivalences and says that it can be Lexical, semantic, syntactic, phonological, prosodic, figurative, metrical or positional (1982:70). Rhyme, assonance, alliteration, etc. are examples of parallelism. Here again, Hopkins poetry can be used for illustration. Look at the following lines for exampleI caught this morning mornings minion,kingdom of daylights dauphin,dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon The Windhover

32 Fowler(1966) talks about some more ways in which foregrounding can manifest itself in poetry. He says that we can talk about syntagmatic and paradigmatic foregrounding. Paradigmatic foregrounding refers to the selection of an item which is not a member of the normal range of choices available at its place in the linguistic chain. Thus, the foregrounding that depends on collocation belongs to the paradigmatic field. The examples he gives are from Dylan Thomas poetry. Phrases like all the sun long, a grief ago and farmyards away consist of unusual collocation. Sun, grief and farmyards are unusual selections from a set of paradigmatically available lexical items. The parallelisms mentioned earlier, on the other hand belong to the syntagmatic type of foregrounding. As Fowler says, --- where there is a choice to be made at different points in the chain, the writer repeatedly makes the same selection (145). Thus, there is a layer of patterning additional to those operating within the language. This can be at the level of sounds as in alliteration, at the level of syntax when a similar structure is used repeatedly or can be at the level of rhetoric, where a non-normal patterning of content is used. Prakasam also talks about how the prominence can be achieved on the syntagmatic axis of the language. He says that collocation, colligation and cluster are the three kinds of cooccurrence in language. They can be classified on the basis of expectancy as normal and anormal. He says that prominence is achieved when the cooccurrence is on the side of the anormal. Thus phrases like easeful death (Keats, Ode to a Nightingale) can be considered as an example for foregrounding through unusual collocation, he walked

33 himself--- an example of unusual colligation and dapple dawn drawn( Hopkins, Windhover) an example of clustering. Thus, the concept of foregrounding can be applied to individual poems. But it can also be important for the historical study of literature. ( see Asher). Sometimes, particular patterns may become standardized so that the deviation of one generation may seem to be the normal poetic style for another generation. We can see the history of literature as a series of efforts to deviate from the norm of a previous generation- not of normal language- but of poetic language. When wordsworth said poetry should use the language of the ordinary man, he was trying to deviate from the norm of poetry of his times. But as the style of the romantics became standardized, the modern poets deviated from it and foregrounded different aspects of language. Thus, literary history is --- the never ending relief of new ways in which foregrounding is brought about and experienced ( Asher:1274). Before we conclude, we should look at one major objection that has been raised to the concept of foregrounding. The theory of foregrounding, deviance etc. assumes that literary language is special and that literariness is something that is manifested in the deviant use of language. But it can be argued that many texts that are non-literary can also have patternings. Thus, statistically, a news paper article may have more deviations and parallelisms than a poem. But there is one major difference between foregrounding in literature and foregrounding in non-literary texts. As Asher says, the presence of deviations and patternings in non-literary texts does not lead to a new or innovative interpretation of

34 the content. Thus, in literature foregrounding is functional or as Prakasam would say, it is motivated. ReferencesAsher, R.E. The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, vol.3. Oxford, Pergamon Press. Fowler, Roger. Essays on Style and Language London, Routeledge,1966. Prakasam, V. Functional Stylistics, Theory and Practice. Patiala, Indian institute of language Studies, 1982.

Похожие интересы