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 Ling 131: Language & Style

Topic 3 (session A) - Patterns, Deviations, Style and Meaning > Deviation: non-literary examples > Task A

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Session Overview
Overview of foregrounding, deviation and parallelism
Deviation: non - literary examples
Deviation: literary examples
Parallelism: non-literary examples
Parallelism: literary examples
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Deviation for Foregrounding Purposes - A Universal Phenomenon

Task A - Linguistic Deviation

Although this course is mainly about the language of literary texts, it is linguistic deviation in literature that we are most interested in. But it is important to note that deviation is often used for foregrounding purposes in non-literary texts too. In other words deviation is all around us linguistically, as well as in terms of social and other forms of human behavior. Indeed, many of the examples we looked at in sessions 1 and 2 contain linguistic deviation. So, for example, we could recast what we learned about the names of pop groups and advertising slogans in Topic 1 in terms of deviation and foregrounding.

Note that in most of the cases we examine, the deviation will be linguistic. But foregrounding is a psychological phenomenon, not a linguistic one. This is why the linguistic structure of texts can affect meaning and effect. Linguistic phenomena can have related psychological effects for readers of texts.

Names of pop groups

Below are two pop group names. We have already looked at one of them in Topic 1 Session B. The other is new. For each one, work out how it is deviant, and what foregrounding results, and then compare your answer with ours.


Velvet Underground



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