Discourse, Consciousness, and Time: The Flow and Displacement of Conscious Experience in Speaking and Writing

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 15, 1994 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 327 pages
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Wallace Chafe demonstrates how the study of language and consciousness together can provide an unexpectedly broad understanding of the way the mind works. Relying on close analyses of conversational speech as well as written fiction and nonfiction, he investigates both the flow of ideas through consciousness and the displacement of consciousness by way of memory and imagination.

Chafe draws on several decades of research to demonstrate that understanding the nature of consciousness is essential to understanding many linguistic phenomena, such as pronouns, tense, clause structure, and intonation, as well as stylistic usages, such as the historical present and the free indirect style. While the book focuses on English, there are also discussions of the North American Indian language Seneca and the music of Mozart and of the Seneca people.

This work offers a comprehensive picture of the dynamic natures of language and consciousness that will interest linguists, psychologists, literary scholars, computer scientists, anthropologists, and philosophers.
  

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Contents

Introduction
3
Understanding Language and the Mind
8
The Nature of Consciousness
26
Speaking and Writing
41
Flow
51
Intonation Units
53
Activation Cost
71
Starting Points Subjects and the Light Subject Constraint
82
Displacement
193
The Immediate and Displaced Modes in Conversational Language
195
Representing Other Speech and Thought in Conversation
212
Displaced Immediacy in Written FirstPerson Fiction
224
Representing Other Speech and Thought in FirstPerson Fiction with Displaced Immediacy
237
Displaced Immediacy in Written ThirdPerson Fiction
249
Written Fiction That Partially Lacks a Represented Consciousness
259
Written Nonfiction
271

Identifiability and Definiteness
93
The One New Idea Constraint
108
Discourse Topics
120
Topic Hierarchies and Sentences
137
Another Language
146
Some Alternative Approaches to Information Flow
161
The Flow of Consciousness in Music
186
Displacement Integrated with Flow
278
Written Paragraphs and Discourse Topics
296
Epilogue
301
References
304
Index
317
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

George A. Dorsey (1868-1931), an anthropologist who taught at the University of Chicago, published numerous works, including "The Pawnee Mythology," available as a Bison Book. Wallace L. Chafe is a professor of linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of "Seneca Thanksgiving Rituals.

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