chapter  3
21 Pages

Speech presentation, the novel and the press

Over the last few years I have argued that no firm formal linguistic distinction can be made between literary and non··literary language (see, for example, Short (1986) and Short and Candlin (1986)). Literature, as Henry Widdowson says in Styiistics and the Teaching of Literature (197St contains many different varieties of language (though, presumably, not necessarily all possible varieties). In the past this kind of argument has usually been used to justify the use of techniques of general linguistic analysis on literary texts. And I would certainly want to support such arguments. But, if literature and other forms of language are not obviously distinct in terms of their 'linguistic ingredients', it is also possible to argue in a different direction and suggest that the tools which linguists interested in literature have developed for (rhetorical) analysis might also be usefully used on texts not normally thought of as literary. This is the view that I take in this chapter, in which I take a particular form of analysis usually reserved for the novel and apply it to newspaper reports.