Narrative Modalities* Lubomir Dolezel Many academics keep busy by erecting artificial barriers between linguistics and literary theory; on the other band, from the time of antiquity, various intermediary disciplines (such äs rhetoric, poetics, stylistics) have achieved considerable success in bridging the gap between the two semiotic disciplines. At present, a new and vigorous "mediator" has made its appearance; it is called text theory (or discourse analysis). Text theory is especially suited for its mediating role, because it pursues a twofold aim: not unlike linguistics, it aims at formulating abstract rules of text structures (rules of text grammar and text typology); at the same time, it reveals idiosyncratic features of individual texts which is in line with one of the basic aims of literary analysis. Text theory would fail in its mediating role, if it were conceived äs a mere application or extension of current linguistic models. The autonomy of text theory can be justified only if specific text properties, i. e. properties distinguishing text structures from language structures, are posited äs its explicandum. It is now widely acknowledged that one of these properties is text coherence. Already Harris (1952: 3) pointed out that texts are not aggregates of
Journal of Literary Semantics – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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