Cognitive Grammar and Readers’ Perceived Sense of Closeness: A Study of Responses to Mary Borden’s ‘Belgium’

Abstract

This article analyses the degree to which readers report a perceived sense of closeness to the events depicted in ‘Belgium’, the opening story of Mary Borden’s The Forbidden Zone. Theoretically, I draw on Ronald Langacker’s Cognitive Grammar, which models language primarily through its notion of construal, an aspect of which claims that -ing forms impose an internal perspective on a scene that results in the interpretative effect of it being ‘close by’. This study tests this idea empirically by utilising a quantitative tool (Likert scale) to elicit two sets of verbal data which are then analysed qualitatively. My analysis demonstrates that readers respond to the events in the story and articulate the relationship of particular language features to their responses in different – and often surprising – ways. The study is the first in stylistics to empirically test the interpretative effects of verb forms as theorised by Cognitive Grammar and thus contributes new knowledge both by exploring how the landscapes of First World War literature are experienced by readers and analysing how the language of those landscapes may give rise to particular reported effects by readers.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/09639470221105930
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
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College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > English Languages and Applied Linguistics
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognitive Grammar,First World War literature,Mary Borden,The Forbidden Zone,empirical stylistics,landscapes,reader response,Language and Linguistics,Linguistics and Language,Literature and Literary Theory
Publication ISSN: 1461-7293
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2024 16:44
Date Deposited: 24 May 2022 07:55
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-08-01
Published Online Date: 2022-06-04
Accepted Date: 2022-05-20
Authors: Giovanelli, Marcello (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8470-3800)

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