Towards Non-Spontaneity in Interpretation of Implicature Serving Implicit Characterization: The Case of Subsidiary Trait Precipitation in Arthur C. Doyle’s ‘A Study in Scarlet’

Hammed Mohammadpanah, Samira Hamzehei, Lale Massiha

Abstract


Although characterisation is a much-aged matter in literature, certain aspects have yet to be explored, such as how fictional characters implicate in their discourse, what takes influence from this, and what comes to pass in the production and interpretation process of the phenomenon. As the contribution is of subtlety, implicata in characters’ discourse have not exclusively been studies in detail as elements of characterisation. Therefore, in view of the cognitive approach leant towards by leading researchers on the subject of characterization such as Jonathan Culpeper, this research relies on Sperber and Wilson’s ‘relevance theory’ to define cognitive procedures into instances of implicata verbally exchanged between fictional characters to determine a) how authors exploit such instances for trait progression of their characters and upholding character discourse credibility, and b) how readers can achieve what Furlong terms a ‘non-spontaneous’ interpretation of such exchanges. To address the stated issue, we conducted a detailed cognitive-effectual analysis on five instances of implicata made by four flat and round characters within Arthur C. Doyle’s ‘A Study in Scarlet’, the results of which yielded a mechanism wherein writers’ making implications and readers’ calculating and interpreting them hinge on both parties making presuppositions on certain topics to ensure certain pragmatic presuppositional effect for readers. A five-stage bottom-up process was also proposed which links character traits to implications conveyed within inter-character discourse, following through which can lead to readers’ achieving maximal relevance on the made implications and a non-spontaneous interpretation of them.

Keywords


Implicature, Presupposition, Characterization, Non-spontaneous Interpretation, Relevance Theory

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