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1000 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 60, NUMBER 4 (1984) miliar with the plays, plot outlines and preliminary interpretations are provided. In Etherege's She would if she could (1668), a typical opening expository dialog is analysed according to the role played by the future directors in plot progression, coherence, and linking of scenes and acts. The schematic diagram of illocutionary structure clearly reveals the interactional characteristics, accounting for static and dynamic figures. In Wycherley's The country wife (1675), typical acts of deception and SA's addressed to multiple hearers, i.e. the reader/viewer and the partner in the dialog, are analysed. In Vanbrugh's The relapse (1696) socalled 'action-poor' dialogs are analysed according to their functional value for the total drama; the result is a redefinition of 'actionpoor ' as the absence or repression of future directors . In Congreve's The way of the world (1700), 'accusation/justification' scenes, so typical of the tension and intrigue associated with the genre, are analysed for their plot function. Sch's study of dramatic texts contains crucial data for linguists, and thought-provoking interpretative insights for literary scholars. The mere task of assigning SA labels to utterances provides a unique link between linguistic description and literary interpretation. Of course, the study has its problems, e.g. the proliferation of English terms in a German text, and the combination of two scholarly areas in one study. However, the weaknesses of the analysis, e.g. Sch's often trivial-sounding depiction ofthe obvious , merely reflect the beginning stage ofstudies attempting to analyse and interpret literary texts with the aid of SA theory. [Thomas A. Lovik, Berkeley.] Semiotic perspectives. By Sándor Hervey. London: Allen & Unwin, 1982. Pp. 273. H's book is overtly an introduction to semiotics , providing 'an account of all that is needed for a thorough grounding', and requiring 'no specialized knowledge on the part of the reader' (to quote the blurb). Covertly, it is an introduction to a functionalist view ofsemiotics, following Prieto and Buyssens—andattempting, by using a broader label, to give wider circulation to the related work of Hervey and of Jan Mulder, which resembles Peircean semiotics with its taxonomic approach. This sort of endeavor usually results in an unbalanced presentation or at least an ambiguous stand, and typically gives short shrift to diverging views; thus Chaps. 5 and 9 deal rather harshly with contributions to the semiotic debate by Barthes and Metz. To the extent that H seeks to present European -based theses, some contemporary and recent American research is neglected (except for Hockett's views on animal communication), or relegated to the bibliography of references often not discussed in the book (e.g. Sebeok). But the American tradition is favored so far as fundamentals are concerned: Peirce and Morris occupy most ofthe first two chapters. (Saussure is dismissed, after seven pages, for having provided an emotive definition of semiology; this results largely from H's failure to understand the French phrase au sein de.) Chap. 3 presents a useful account of Prieto's theory, especially since little is known of it in North America. Chap. 4 aims at situating speech-act theories in a semiotics setting, discussing Austin and Searle in a relatively serene atmosphere; but Barthes, in Chap. 5, is judged through a series of paradoxes . Chap. 6 returns to functionalism, as a prerequisite for the 'axiomatic functionalism' of Chap. 7, where H's own brand of semiotics is sampled and applied to writing systems (roman numerals; ideographic, syllabic, and alphabetic scripts). Chap. 8 is still functionalistic in dismissing Riffaterre's theory of poetics in favor of Bureau's weaker, syntactically-based theory of stylistics. Chap. 9 demolishes Metz's semiotics of cinema, this time with a series of alleged fallacies. Chap. 10, instead of summarizing and offering a synthetic view of what semiotics is or ought to be, deals with zoösemiotics. The absence ofconcluding remarks either for chapters (2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10) or for the entire book is probably one ofthe major flaws ofH's review of classical and current research, but it corresponds to a deliberate strategy: conclusions coincide with rejections. Also, authors who are dismissed (Saussure, Barthes, Metz, Riffaterre) are usually misrepresented...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 1000-1001
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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