A modest proposal: Linguistics and literary studies


  • Anne Furlong


Linguistics should make significant contributions to literary and critical theory, but has failed to do so. This paper investigates the reasons for the failure and suggests an approach based in Relevance Theory for a working relationship between literary studies and pragmatics. Literary critics have misappropriated linguistic terminology and theories, because their model of language is outdated, and because they blur the distinction between scientific theories and interpretive frameworks—contexts in which assumptions are highly salient. Following an outline of Relevance Theory, an application of relevance stylistics demonstrates the distinctions between theories and interpretive frameworks, and how they can reinforce one another.

How to Cite

Furlong, A. (2007). A modest proposal: Linguistics and literary studies. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 10(3), 325–347. Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/CJAL/article/view/19749