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Saturday, October 12 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(P3) Duncan: Variation in fictional dialogue: Three sources of variability in A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Variation in fictional dialogue: Three sources of variability in A Series of Unfortunate Events

Although it is typically assumed that patterns of variation in written fictional dialogue do not reflect those found in community-based studies of speech, recent work has shown that dialogue may in fact share language-internal constraints (Poplack and Malvar 2007) and language-external constraints (Blaxter 2015) with spoken data. This paper expands upon these recent works by considering both language-internal and -external constraints on morphosyntactic variation in A Series of Unfortunate Events (ASOUE). ASOUE is of particular interest because the author is inserted into the story as a character in many respects. I show that depending on the variable, variation in the dialogue may involve reflection of the author’s language-internal constraints, adherence to a prescriptive norm, or style shifting to distinguish protagonists and antagonists from one another. In effect, the choice of one morphosyntactic variant over another allows for the author to align more closely with the book’s protagonists.

Speakers
DD

Daniel Duncan

Newcastle University


Saturday October 12, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm
EMU Ballroom


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