Voice and expressivity in free indirect thought representations : imitation and representation

Blakemore, DL 2013, 'Voice and expressivity in free indirect thought representations : imitation and representation' , Mind and Language, 28 (5) , pp. 579-605.

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (692kB) | Preview
[img] Microsoft Word - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (77kB)


This paper addresses issues in the philosophy of fiction from the perspective of a relevance theoretic approach to communication. Its departure point is the assumption found in both pretence approaches to irony (e.g. Currie 2002, 2006, 2010, Recanati 2000, 2004, 2007, Walton 1990) and Sperber & Wilson’s (1995, 2006, 2011) echoic approach that free indirect discourse and irony should be treated in parallel. Drawing on examples (mainly) from Mansfield’s short stories, It then addresses the question of how we should account for the role of so-called ‘expressives’ in free indirect style and argues that while authors may use them in the imitation of a character’s style or ‘voice’ (especially for the purpose of parody), they may also use them as a means of encouraging readers to construct their own meta-representations of a character’s state of mind. Finally, it addresses the question of what the narrator’s/author’s role is in creating these effects, and argues that the function of a ‘speaking’ narrator must be de-coupled from that of an organizing, selecting narrator (the communicator). Although this distinction can be explained in relevance theoretic terms, it implies that free indirect thought representations must be distinguished from irony and parody, where the relevance of the utterance lies in the audience’s interpretation of the communicator’s thoughts. Key terms expressive irony free indirect discourse/thought imitation (meta-)representation narrative/narrator parody pretence principle of relevance voice

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Journal or Publication Title: Mind and Language
Publisher: Blackwell
Refereed: No
ISSN: 0268-1064
Funders: Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship
Depositing User: DL Blakemore
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2012 12:30
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 14:34
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/23612

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year