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 Ling 131: Language & Style

Topic 3 (session A) - Patterns, Deviations, Style and Meaning > Foregrounding

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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
Useful Links


The term 'FOREGROUNDING' is borrowed by stylisticians from art criticism, which distinguishes between the foreground and the background of a painting. So first we will explore its use in discussing visual art.

We normally expect what a painting is about to be represented in the foreground, and for less central aspects of the painting to be in the background. For example, if you look again at the representation of Wordsworth trying to compose the daffodil poem on the 'How Great Writing Happens' page, you can see that Wordsworth starts off at the edge of the photograph and moves into the foreground when he starts trying to compose the daffodil poem. He moves to the foreground because he is the most important aspect of the visual display.


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