Rule-breaking and meaning-making in Edward Lear
Keywords:Literatura inglesa, Poesía inglesa, Lear, Edward, The Complete Nonsense, Psicolingüística
AbstractNonsense seems to break many rules of semantico-syntactic compatibility and somehow managed to construct discourse. This paper discusses the work of Edward Lear, the 19th century English writer and painter in a attempt to identify some of the linguistic and psycholinguistic principles underlying the nonsense text. It claims that nonsense relies on a "fuzzy" image—not meaning, but the suggestion of meaning or a feeling of sense, which results basically from the manipulation of the phonemic and lexemic possibilities of the English language and the exploitation of patterns of redundancy, sustained by a rigid syntactic and metric structure. It also suggests a relation to strategies of child language acquisition which would on the one hand explain the popularity of nonsense and on the other hand support the hypothesis that the origin of the genre is to be sought in the nursery-rhyme tradition of English literature.
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How to Cite
Ponterotto, Diane. 1993. “Rule-Breaking and Meaning-Making in Edward Lear”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 6 (November):153-61. https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.1993.6.14.
Copyright (c) 1993 Diane Ponterotto
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.