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The Pervasiveness of Linguistic Creativity in Everyday Conversation

  • Date Submitted: 01/13/2015 12:42 PM
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The pervasiveness of linguistic creativity in everyday conversation
Introduction

Creativity or artfulness is not an exclusive ability of exceptionally skilled users of language but instead is prevalent in everyday practise and is a common feature of everyday language. Previously, linguistic creativity has been associated with particular genres of literature and said to be found in types of writing such as poems, novels and theatrical plays. However it is now argued that other forms of artful language such as word play, metaphor, repetition or rhyme are common features of everyday conversation and by no means unique to literary texts.   (Swann, 2006)
Linguists such as Ronald Carter prefer to think of literariness as a continuum and sees texts in grades of more or less literary. He also suggests that there are three main models of literariness for identifying the approach for analysis of creativity in language.

- Inherency models: A textual approach where creativity is considered to be found in particular formal features of
    language.
- Sociocultural models: A contextual approach where creativity is decided by the social and cultural context in which
  it is used.
- Cognitive models:   An approach that considers literary or artful language to be associated with processes of the mind.
  (Carter, cited in The Open University, 2006, p. 10)

Labov considers performance to be a way to identify artful language. His theories regarding the structural elements of narrative offer an analytical framework by which to study the form and function narrative plays in interactions.
In the following analysis I will use the Labovian framework to find out whether my findings are in accordance with some of the current theories and notions of linguists researching creativity in everyday conversation.

Analysis of Band 5: Kitchen Floor

The data is taken from a study by Jennifer Coates on women's talk. And is part of a sequence of   'mirroring stories' which share...

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