chapter  1
18 Pages

Drama Dialogue and Talk

This book is about drama dialogue, and its aim is to look at how the linguistic study of natural conversation can inform our understanding of represented conversations in plays. It seeks to achieve this aim by offering a series of in-depth investigations into how the dialogue of four modern plays (Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, Arnold Wesker’s Roots, Terence Rattigan’s In Praise of Love and Alan Ayckbourn’s Just Between Ourselves) works with respect to the pragmatic and discoursal norms postulated for ordinary conversation. Given such a focus, this study falls under what is known as the stylistics of drama, which is itself part of the discipline of literary stylistics: the use of theories in linguistics to study the language of literature. As Carter and Simpson (1989) have pointed out, the analyst in this field will typically want to

This orientation, however, is not uncontroversial, and a number of issues need to be discussed before the analyses of the chosen play texts begin.