An Investigation of the Marked Parallel Structure in Alice Munro’s “Amundsen”

Usa Padgate


Parallel structure is one linguistic feature implemented to bring aesthetics to the delivery of the English language. Traditional grammar and writing classes usually emphasize that parallelism must be observed when the language is used. In literature, as well as in real-life usage, however, parallelism is often flaunted to effect various purposes, a fact that is generally overlooked in grammar classrooms. In the present study, the concept of linguistic markedness is applied to the investigation of the parallel structure in Alice Munro’s short story “Amundsen” in order to explore the pragmatic usage of parallelism, as opposed to the grammatical usage listed in general commercial grammar textbooks and to answer the research question: How and for what purposes is parallel structure flaunted in Alice Munro’s short story “Amundsen”? The investigation of the marked parallel structure in Alice Munro’s short story “Amundsen” shows that approximately one out of four instances of parallel structure is flaunted to effect emphasis, exaggeration, elaboration and evaluation, which affirms that parallelism is routinely observed as well as purposefully flaunted to bring about linguistic flavours that reflect hands-on usage of the language.


English Grammar, Parallel Structure, Markedness, Alice Munro, Amundsen

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