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ERIC Number: ED221855
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
An Experience with Milton's Discourse Reference: Pronouns and Processing.
Crismore, Avon
Milton's style of pronominal reference in his essay, "Areopagitica," leads to a lack of comprehension at times and to slow processing. His use of demonstrative pronouns makes it difficult to identify antecedents precisely and quickly. For example, in one case a reader must go back over 400 words to find an antecedent. His use of relative pronouns produces the same confusing effect, requiring a time consuming, problem solving approach. Besides the same kind of processing problems caused by his use of demonstrative pronouns--remoteness of antecedent from pronoun, vagueness resulting from reference to a general idea of a preceding sentence, and reference to nouns that were not expressed but merely implied--his use of relative pronouns produces additional problems of placement and shifting. To readers lacking adequate knowledge or schemata of 17th century vocabulary, grammar, and oratory, Milton's formal style, long periodic sentences, unusual word order, ungrammatical sentences, and frequent coordination of phrases and clauses lead to difficulties of processing and require new strategies for decoding. (JL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Areopagitica; Milton (John)