On Verbal Art - Essays in Honour of Ruqaiya Hasan - Rebekah Wegener

On Verbal Art - Essays in Honour of Ruqaiya Hasan - Rebekah Wegener

‘That’s Not Normal Rabbit Behaviour’: On the Track of the Grammar of Fictional Worlds

On Verbal Art - Essays in Honour of Ruqaiya Hasan - Rebekah Wegener

Rebekah Wegener [+-]
RWTH Aachen University
Rebekah Wegener is a lecturer and researcher in linguistics and semiotics at RWTH Aachen University and co-founder of learning technology start-up, Audaxi. She has a background in linguistics, semiotics, psychology and cognitive science. Her research interests include context modelling, theoretical and applied linguistics as well as intelligent learning and teaching technologies. She is currently working on models of context and register for text understanding and multi-modal environments, behavioural modelling for behavioural interfaces in artificial intelligence, corpus linguistics, and verbal art. Rebekah was introduced to Hasan's work on verbal art by her teacher and colleague, Assoc. Professor David Butt, whose own work on verbal art is the inspiration behind her current projects and seminars on verbal art and stylistics.
Timo Lothmann [+-]
RWTH Aachen University
Timo Lothmann is a researcher and lecturer of English linguistics at RWTH Aachen University where he completed his PhD on the Tok Pisin Bible translation in 2006. He has also taught at the Universities of Münster and Paderborn. His research interests include reading and translation processing, pidgins and creoles, postcolonialism, and imaginary worlds. He lays particular stress on interdisciplinary perspectives. Recent publications comprise a metaphor approach to literary identity. Currently, he focuses on fields of application of conceptual metaphor and blending theory.

Description

In this pilot study we investigate the conceptualization of fictional story worlds with a focus on fantastic worlds. An eye-tracking experiment was devised to test the reading of texts involving different types of transition into secondary fantasy worlds. Additional interview data revealed that the participants’ constructions of secondary worlds are largely a response to the lexico-grammatical patterning of the textual stimuli. In the process of describing the fantastic, the secondary world is widely constructed as a conceptualization of a non-normal version of the primary world, or as a world from which primary-world elements are absent. Readers tend to take up the author’s offer of ‘otherness’ to amplify and generalize this otherness. This study is an investigation of particularities in the make-up and the understanding of fictional worlds. By putting the focus on story worlds of the fantastic, we intend to shed light on authors’ and readers’ constructions of secondary-world settings and in particular, the nature of the reader’s transition into the secondary world. In this regard, special emphasis will be put on tools of foregrounding the elements that deploy, from a primary-world perspective, ‘non-normality’ or ‘magic’ in the textual stimuli.

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Citation

Wegener, Rebekah; Lothmann, Timo. ‘That’s Not Normal Rabbit Behaviour’: On the Track of the Grammar of Fictional Worlds. On Verbal Art - Essays in Honour of Ruqaiya Hasan. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 250-277 Sep 2018. ISBN 9781781794487. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=29805. Date accessed: 23 Jul 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.29805. Sep 2018

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