TMA01 – Plan
Choose one of the following readings from the first module book, The art of English: everyday creativity:
(a) Ronald Carter, ‘Common Language: corpus, creativity and cognition’, pp. 29–37.
(b) Rukmini Bhaya Nair, ‘Implicature and impliculture in the short, short story and the tall, tall tale’, pp. 97–102. Summarise the main points of your chosen reading, and evaluate, with reference to other material in the module you have engaged with to date, the extent to which it helps you understand how to identify creativity in everyday language.
Often poetic creativity (playing with the sounds and structures of a language) are associated with literary language – that found in poetry and other forms of literature (Swann, 2006). By contrast spoken language mundane ordinary. This idea has been challenged particularly within the discipline of English language studies – suggests they similar features can be found within everyday conversation. Led to a definition of creativity by Swann Definition and ideas of creativity (Swann, 2013:12) ‘creativity is used in a sense more akin to literary creativity, to refer to the way people use literary-like features even in everyday discourse. Creativity may suggest speakers are doing something novel […but it is] not necessarily novel’. Account will examine what evidence Carter’s reading ‘Common Language: corpus, creativity and cognition’ provides to support the notion of everyday language being in some way poetic in nature. Assess reading in terms of 3 models of literariness (inherent, sociocultural and cognitive) and idea of a cline – greater and lesser levels of creativity.
Main points of Carter’s reading – research
Everyday spoken language contains language features which are found in and more commonly associated with literary works.
Examples pattern reforming / taking language and adapting it – example 1 – pun on the word reason / raisin – food preparation; extension of metaphor of “cold” to “deep freeze” describe poor relationships (example 3); manipulating idioms to produce new forms “puts all her socialist carts before the horses” (Example 4); even creation of new words “crawly” example 7.
Effect…enjoyment / laughter; to look at situations through a different lens – help us with how we think about or feel about something.
Examples pattern reinforcing – produces a sense of coherence and cohesion (“you don’t have to wash / drain” example 8).
Effect…unite people in terms of feeling / perspective. Carter claims togetherness engendered provides a stable backdrop to the word play.
So everyday spoken language is poetic as opposed to being ordinary / common / mundane and has different purposes. Humour, bind people together, provide alternative viewpoints.
The creativity takes place in a particular social / cultural context – relates to social relations between participants in an interaction – linked with informal symmetrical social relationships – more creative the more people know each other – the more informal the setting and more relaxed people feel.
Might involve risk if the language play does not come off not understood, not funny, not appropriate to joke at a particular point or talking about a particular topic (e.g. infidelity and “out of the frying pan into the deep freeze” – might lose face but also stand to gainer higher regard from others if successful -
May have to rethink some of the ways literary language (and creativity) is described (e.g. literary language and the creativity within it as exceptional rather than as a feature of both every day and literary language)
How has he come this conclusion – concordancer – lots of examples – mainly text (transcriptions but some information about participants – gender, age, socioeconomic status and the situation)
In terms of the models of literariness
3 models of literariness –
– creativity located in specific formal properties of...
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