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Discourse and pragmatic analysis of the pronoun one in Virginia Woolf's works To the lighthouse and A room of one's own


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Lukšić, Sandra. (2017). Discourse and pragmatic analysis of the pronoun one in Virginia Woolf's works To the lighthouse and A room of one's own. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Linguistics.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij lingvistike) [mentor Bertoša, Mislava and Zovko Dinković, Irena].

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Discourse-pragmatic analysis of the pronoun one in Virginia Woolf's essay A Room of One's Own and the novel To the Lighthouse is focused on the function of this pronoun in the discourse based on a specific type of corpus, a literary work, as well as on the distribution of the pronoun one and its reasons. The two terms, ''discourse'' and ''pragmatic'' are interrelated, since the pragmatic analysis is basically a discourse analysis of the text within a context, while the term ''discourse'' emphasizes the pragmatic perspective of the discourse and its embeddedness in the fabric of society. From the pragmatic perspective it was crucial to determine the relationship between discourse participants and the types of this interaction, so the pragmatic aspect applied within this analysis raised two important questions: 1) whose point of view is represented and 2) who do the voices in the discourse belong to. It is a qualitative study of pragmatic functions of the pronoun one related to its ambiguous reference and very frequent shifts from other personal pronouns in the discourse (particularly the pronoun I) to this quasi-indefinite pronoun. We have investigated the strategy of the implementation of impersonalization and quasi-indefinitness by using the pronoun one which has various pragmatic functions in the discourse. The results have shown that primary pragmatic functions of this pronoun refer to the shifting of responsibilty from an individual to other collective entities and the emotional distance of the subject (senser, speaker, narrator/writer) for the purpose of making subjective experience more objective and masking egocentricity. The objectives of the discourse analysis lie very close to the pragmatic ones, since it has been used to study various modes of implementation of the pronoun one in the discourse for the purpose of the realization of the above mentioned pragmatic functions. The pronoun one has been analysed in the framework of the transitivity model, which represents a structural concept of the systemic-functional linguistics, focusing on the types of processes this pronoun is involved in, the roles of participants in these processes, as well as the ways of structuring the whole narrative discourse by applying this systemic pattern of transitivity. The transitivity model is realised within the ideational metafunction of language, which has been investigated together with the interpersonal and the textual metafunctions. Within the interpersonal metafunction we have analysed modality and the role of modals in construing meaning of the pronoun one, whereas within the textual metafunction we were concerned with the role of this pronoun as a cohesive device, and the phoric relations it establishes within the text. The analysis has also focused on the connection of the pronoun one to the social and the discourse variables, such as the issues of gender and gender equality in language, but also to the discourse types and contents. Accordingly, all the instances of this pronoun within free indirect discourse have been analysed in great detail. This discourse representation category is one of the main devices for creating ambiguity, or polyphony in the discourse, which main function is to ostensibly exclude the omniscient narrator from the narration, and to filter the discourse only through characters, with as little as possible intrusion of the narrator. In her persistent use of free indirect discourse Woolf has been regarded a leader among modernist writers who wanted to make a radical shift towards breaking language standards and to show their tendency towards polyvocalism, implying the co-existence of different varieties within discourse. A detailed study of the pronoun one in all the above mentioned apects has resulted in determining referential fields of this pronoun within the chosen corpus in accordance with its classification suggested by Wales (1980b). Since this pronoun possesses different layers of meaning within its referential field (generic, generic egocentric and advanced egocentric meaning), we have regarded it as a separate category of personal pronouns, called indefinite personal, which can replace some very concrete personals, such as I, you or we. By doing this we confirmed the triad of its meaning, still relevant in the contemporary English language, especially in specific types of discourse, where the emphasis lies on diminishing personal merits, objective presentation of subjective points of view and avoidance of taking responsibilitiy.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: discourse-pragmatic analysis, pragmatic functions, distribution, pronoun one, systemic-functional linguistics, free indirect discourse, new category of personal pronouns
Subjects: Linguistics
Departments: Department of Linguistics
Supervisor: Bertoša, Mislava and Zovko Dinković, Irena
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij lingvistike
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 12:16
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2017 12:16

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