Presentation on theme: "ENGAGEMENT AND DIALOGISTIC POSITIONING. other voices and alternative positions Engagement is a way for the authorial voice to position itself with respect."— Presentation transcript:
ENGAGEMENT AND DIALOGISTIC POSITIONING
other voices and alternative positions Engagement is a way for the authorial voice to position itself with respect to, and therefore to ‘engage’ with, other voices and alternative positions construed as being in play in the current communicative context.
dialogic All verbal communication, whether written or spoken, is ‘dialogic’. The actual and basic reality of language-speech is not the abstract system of linguistic forms, but the social event of verbal interaction implemented in a discourse.
relationship speaker/writer Dialogistic Positioning leads us to attend to the nature of the relationship speaker/writer with respect to the issue under consideration. the other speakers and their value positions. The focus is on whether they present themselves as standing with, against, undecided or neutral with respect to the other speakers and their value positions.
The speaker/writer negotiate relationships of alignment /disalignment, agreement/disagreement with respect to assessments, beliefs and assumptions about the world. By doing this, speakers and writers not only express their own mind, but also invite others to share with them their social values and beliefs.
tolerancefor alternative viewpoints Solidarity is tolerance for alternative viewpoints: it is always available to the speaker/writer to maintain solidarity with those who hold to a different position, by indicating that they recognize this diversity of viewpoints and that they are also prepared to engage with their interlocutors.
to respond The dialogistic perspective leads us to attend to the signals that speaker/writers provide as to how they expect those they address to respond to the current proposition and the value position it advances. interpersonal style rhetorical strategies Those signals are linguistic features : they provide the means to characterize a speaker/writer’s interpersonal style and his rhetorical strategies according to the alternative viewpoints he constructs for his text, and according to the way in which he engages with other voices.
The linguistic features which can help identifying the different dialogistic positions in a text are: ( no, didn’t, never, but …) Disclaim: the textual voice positions itself as rejecting some contrary position ( no, didn’t, never, but …) ( naturally, of course, the truth of the matter is …) Proclaim : the textual voice suppresses alternative positions by representing its own as highly warrantable ( naturally, of course, the truth of the matter is …) ( maybe, in my view, I believe that …) ( X said, according to, in X’s view …) Entertain and Attribute : the authorial voice represents the proposition as one of a range of possible positions – and thereby entertains or invokes these dialogic alternatives. Entertain expresses the subjectivity of the authorial voice ( maybe, in my view, I believe that …). Attribute expresses the subjectivity of an external voice ( X said, according to, in X’s view …)
There is a set of potential linguistic effects determined by dialogistic positioning. In particular, there are: Monoglossic : to make no reference to other voices and viewpoints ( everyone knows, there is the argument though that, in my view …). Heteroglossic: to recognize, invoke or allow for dialogistic alternatives ( everyone knows, there is the argument though that, in my view …).
Heteroglossic resources can be divided into two broad categories: (e.g. ‘X is claiming that’) 1) Dialogic expansion : when dialogistic locutions actively make allowances for dialogically alternative positions and voices (e.g. ‘X is claiming that’) (e.g. ‘X demonstrated that’) 2) Dialogic contraction : when dialogistic locutions act to challenge or restrict the scope of alternative positions and voices (e.g. ‘X demonstrated that’)
F URTHER RESOURCES OF DIALOGIC EXPANSION ( it may be, I think, probably, it appears …) Entertain : the authorial voice makes dialogic space for alternative viewpoints by using epistemic modality and evidentiality ( it may be, I think, probably, it appears …) Attribution : formulations which disassociate the proposition from the text’s internal authorial voice by attributing it so some external sources. There are two sub-categories of attribution: ( it is said that, many people believe that, according to …) 1) Acknowledge: locutions where there is no overt indication as to where the authorial voices stands with respect to the proposition ( it is said that, many people believe that, according to …) ( X claimed to …) 2) Distance : formulations in which there is an explicit distancing of the authorial voice from the attributed material ( X claimed to …)
F URTHER RESOURCES OF DIALOGIC CONTRACTION Disclaim : formulations by which some prior utterance or some alternative position is rejected, replaced or held to be unsustainable. There are two sub-types of disclaim: ( no, didn’t, never …) 1) Deny (negation): it is a resource for introducing the alternative positive position into the dialogue, so as to reject it ( no, didn’t, never …) ( yet, although, surprisingly …) 2) Counter : formulations which represent the current proposition as replacing a preposition which would have been expected in its place ( yet, although, surprisingly …)
F URTHER RESOURCES OF DIALOGIC CONTRACTION Proclaim: formulations which act to limit the scope of dialogistic alternatives in the ongoing colloquy. There are three types of proclaim: ( of course, naturally, admittedly …) 1) Concur: formulations which overtly announce the addresser as agreeing with, or having the same knowledge as, some dialogic partner ( of course, naturally, admittedly …) ( it shows that, it demonstrates that, it is proved …) 2) Endorsement: formulations by which propositions sourced to external sources are constructed by the authorial voice as correct, valid and warrantable ( it shows that, it demonstrates that, it is proved …) ( I contend, we can only conclude that, you must agree that …) 3) Pronounce : formulations which involve authorial emphases, interventions or interpolations ( I contend, we can only conclude that, you must agree that …)
T HE P ICTURE OF D ORIAN G RAY In this extract from the famous novel by Oscar Wilde there are three main characters: Basil Hallward Basil Hallward (painter, friend of Dorian) Lord Henry Wotton Lord Henry Wotton (Gentleman, friend of Basil) Dorian Gray Dorian Gray (a beautiful young man) tries to persuade him to embrace Plot of the extract : Dorian Gray is introduced to Lord Henry in Basil’s studio. While he is posing for a portrait, Lord Henry tries to persuade him to embrace his own Hedonistic philosophy.
T EXT ANALYSIS. LINGUISTIC FEATURES : “…And now, Dorian, get up on the platform, and don’t move about too much, or pay any attention to what Lord Henry says. He has a very bad influence over all his friends, with the single exception of myself.” → This is an example of PROCLAIM : Basil asserts that Lord henry is a bad influence without qualifying his statement using the strong modal form of the resnt tense which is used for scientific truths. Dorian Gray stepped up on the dais with the air of a young Greek martyr, and made a little moue of discontent to Lord Henry, to whom he had rather taken a fancy. He was so unlike Basil. They made a delightful contrast. And he had such a beautiful voice. After a few moments he said to him, “Have you really a very bad influence, Lord Henry? As bad as Basil says?” → This is an example of DISTANCE : Dorian questions the truth of Basil’s stements suggesting he is not convinced this is the only possible version of events “There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral— immoral from the scientific point of view.” “Why?”. → This is an example of DENY : Lord Henry introduces his position against the dominant moral of that time, contraacting the dialogistic space as to other points of view.
“Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. → This is an example of DENY : Lord Henry negates the proposition that an influenced person can have natural virtues depending on his own thoughts or passions. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. → This is an example of ENTERTAIN, by which Lord Henry makes space for the possibility that sins do not exist within his critique of the concept of good or bad influences. He becomes an echo of some one else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self. Of course, they are charitable. They feed the hungry and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion— these are the two things that govern us. And yet—” → This is an example of ACKNOWLEDGE : Lord Henry attributes a general statement to some external voices, acknowledging the emotions of other people. → This is an example of CONCUR : Lord Henry uses the locution “Of course” to strengthen his proposition about people’s charity, suggesting the obvious. → This is an example of ENTERTAIN : by using the locution “Perhaps”, Lord Henry makes space for another viewpoint, not just that courage has disappeared but that it never really existed, suggesting that charitable acts are probably the result of fear of society and of religion and that courage would involve paying attention to the needs of ones own soul or self.
“Just turn your head a little more to the right, Dorian, like a good boy,” said the painter, deep in his work and conscious only that a look had come into the lad’s face that he had never seen there before. “And yet,” continued Lord Henry, in his low, musical voice, and with that graceful wave of the hand that was always so characteristic of him, and that he had even in his Eton days, “I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream—I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of medievalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal—to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. → This is an example of PROCLAIM : Lord Henry makes a strong assertion about what it is possible to do about temptation Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. → This is an example of ENTERTAIN : “I believe” is the maximally explicit expression of writer’s own subjectivity act. “It may be” is an assessment of likelihood.
It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and your rose- white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame—” → This is an example of ACKNOWLEDGE : Lord Henry brings in outside voices to his argument with respect to a general statement. “Stop!” faltered Dorian Gray, “stop! you bewilder me. I don’t know what to say. There is some answer to you, but I cannot find it. Don’t speak. Let me think. Or, rather, let me try not to think.” → This is an example of DENY : Dorian is falling into agreement with Sir henry because he can provide no answer to his propositions and thus denies his ability to counter them.
B IBLIOGRAPHY : “The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English” (3 rd chapter) by James R. Martin and P.R.R. White James R. MartinP.R.R. White “The picture of Dorian Gray” (2 nd chapter) by Oscar WildeOscar Wilde Irene Barbieri Angela Convertini Laura Miraglia