Monday, January 16, 2023

The Literary Effects of Discourse Patterns in Hittite Texts

Scholarly work on literary features in Hittite texts has been minimal and rarely incorporates results of literary theory from the last approximately hundred and twenty years. In this dissertation, I investigate how a literary effect can be produced within a discourse pattern by developing a method of analysis at the intersection of linguistic discourse analysis and literary theory. My method of analysis first utilizes linguistic discourse analysis for identifying and assessing a pattern in discourse. In this regard, the core concept within linguistic discourse analysis that is employed is the notion of discourse cohesion and the “ties” that establish it. The second facet of the method of analysis is the application of the results of literary theory for the identification of how language produces a literary effect. Once a discourse pattern is identified, the pattern is analyzed for the presence of linguistic features that conform to what literary theorists claim create literary effects that are experienced as aesthetic. In this regard, the work of Roman Jakobson and his concept of the poetic function of language is at the core of this facet. This method of analysis aims to be applicable to texts that have different styles of communication; texts that are typically said to belong to different genres. To this end, the three case studies represent a sample of different styles. One is a formulaic historiographical/political text, one is a mythological text with portions that I argue are written in poetry, and one is a non- formulaic story organized as a series of events. These case studies reveal two implications. They illustrate the applicability of the method of analysis to texts written in different styles. And second, they demonstrate how various discourse patterns integrate varying amounts of words and grammar to participate in forming the pattern, thereby producing a varying frequency of literary effect in a given text.


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