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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Style,Text and Frequency:-Primary and secondary norms

Style borrowing is thus a telling illustration of a principle on which Halliday insists:that prominence is not only departure from a norm but attainment of a norm.In one case attainment of a norm will mean style borrowing:the approximation to some external norm as a disguise or at least as a point of reference.In another case it will mean that the writer creates his own special kind of language:and it is in the sense that Halliday applies it to the Neanderthal language of the Inheritors.In this novel,he argues,the particular pattern of frequencies sets up its own expectancies,and the consequence is that we can generalize beyond the text,and judge whether a particular non-occuring sentence would be appropriate to its "language" or not.He shows,for instance,that "A branch curved downwards over the water could have easily occurred in the language of Lok,while he had very quickly broken off the lowest branches would be highly deviant.
                                                 The norm which is attained by stylistic consistency in a text might be called a secondary norm,since it is established by deviance from the primary norm which determine our more general expectations of language.Golding's novel is to some degree experimental in style,and when we read it,we sense there is something "odd"about Lok's language.This we do by reference to primary norms.But when we consider what might be deviant in terms of Lok's own dialect,we refer to the secondary norm.
                           

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