The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory (Penguin Reference Books)

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9780140293210: The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory (Penguin Reference Books)

Many courses in literary or cultural studies include some discussion of psychoanalysis, structuralism, post-modernism, linguistics and semiotics. This dictionary should mbring the reader information on the wide variety of interdisciplinary topics in critical theory.

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Review:

'extremely good...Bravo!' Professor Jonathan Culler 'This is an unusual instance of an academic reference book that I do believe doubles quite effectively as a textbook for students and I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone with an interest in theoretical matters, or just in the history of ideas.' Dr Duncan Wu, University of Cambridge

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TROPE

Defined in rhetoric as a device involving a change or transference of meaning, and working, unlike a figure, at a conceptual level. The recognition and appreciation of tropes such as metaphor/metonymy implies an intellectual effort on the part of speaker and listener alike.

COLLOCATION

Term introduced into linguistics by J.R. Firth (1951) to describe the habitual co-occurrence of individual words such as `spick and span' and `neat and tidy'. One of the difficulties facing anyone learning a foreign language is the mastery of collocation and the avoidance of the false collocations (`chips and fish', `butter and bread') that so often reduce native speakers to helpless laughter.

PHATIC FUNCTION

Defined by Jakobson (1960), following Malinowski (1923), as any element in the code/message system that serves primarily to establish, prolong or interrupt the communication of a message rather than to impart information. The ritual `Hello, can you hear me?' of a telephone conversation is an everyday example. The phatic function can give rise to a complex exchange of ritualized formulae or even to whole dialogues designed solely to prolong a conversation or to ensure that communication is still taking place. The term `phatic' derives from the Greek phatos, `spoken'.

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