Pragmatics of Tense and Time in News: From Canonical by Jan Chovanec

By Jan Chovanec

This publication presents the 1st finished account of temporal deixis in English revealed and on-line information texts. Linking the attribute utilization of tenses with the projection of deictic centres, it notes how traditional tenses, quite in headlines, are plagued by heteroglossia bobbing up from a variety of accessed voices. The ensuing stressful shifts are interpreted pragmatically as a standard reader-oriented method that creates the impact of temporal co-presence. it really is argued that given that diverse stressful offerings systematically correlate with the 3 major textual segments of reports texts, the functionality of stressful should be seen in an in depth reference to its neighborhood context. conventional information texts also are contrasted with on-line information, quite so far as the influence of hypertextuality at the coding of time is anxious. A two-level structural framework for the research of on-line information is proposed with a view to account for his or her elevated textual complexity. The publication can be of curiosity to a variety of students and scholars operating within the fields of media pragmatics, discourse research and stylistics.

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Here, we must not only distinguish between the narrator and the author but also consider the issue of focalization of the third-person narrative through a particular character. On the level of linguistic form, this has implications for distinguishing various types of narratives, such as free indirect discourse and others (Fludernik 1993, 2009), and tracing the properties of speech and thought representation (STR; Vandelanotte 2009). Apart from narratology, the idea of the transposition of deictic centres (or points of view, depending on one’s perspective), also features in cognitive science.

While the former concerns “the moment of utterance (or inscription)” (Levinson 1983: 73), the latter is the moment the encoded message is processed by the recipient. In ordinary, face-to-face communication, CT and RT are identical because the speaker and the hearer are co-present in space and time. As Levinson (1983: 73) observes, “… in the canonical situation of utterance, with the assumption of the unmarked deictic centre, RT can be assumed to be identical to CT” – a situation referred to by Lyons (1977: 685) as deictic simultaneity.

Obviously, when the relationship between the participants and the subjective/ objective content of the discourse is not certain, the participants can consciously negotiate the deictic reference and, for instance, actively redefine their points of view. This is, arguably, also the case in the conventional utilization of temporal deixis in news stories. A pragmatic approach needs to explicitly acknowledge that deixis is an important linguistic device for constructing a meaningful discourse that can be understood and interpreted by the participants.

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