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ERIC Number: ED022772
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
From Language to Linguistic Criticism.
Isaacs, Sallie
English Journal, v57 n1 p47-51 Jan 1968
Linguistic criticism not only shows students the usefulness of grammar but also improves their comprehension of literature. For instance, a study of stress, pitch, and juncture in E. E. Cummings'"anyone lived in a pretty how town" adds meaning to the poem. Also helpful is an analysis of Cummings' tagmemic method of substitution slot-filling--use of verbs in noun slots and use of parallelism with the morpheme "by." An examination of D. H. Lawrence's short story, "The Blind Man," shows a contrast of grammatical patterns and literary moods between the second and fourth paragraphs. The conjunction "and" is used 10 times in the second paragraph to create a sense of the continuousness of joy. In contrast, "and" is used only twice in the fourth paragraph, but much embedding of kernel sentences that doubles back to emphasize, redefine, or modify reveals a sense of depression and regression. An analysis of the dialog in this story shows that Isabel's speech--replete with questions, negative morphemes, and the conjunction "but"--indicates her hesitation, indecision, and insecurity. Similarly, the speeches of Maurice and Bertie, showing constant use of the question transform, reveal their insecurity. This linguistic analysis, therefore, makes students more aware of the fusion of form and meaning, and points out the integral part that language plays in their lives. (JS)
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