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On the Application of Iconicity in the Stream of Consciousness Novel

Author: JiangYan
Tutor: LiuGuoHui
School: Chongqing University
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: Iconicity Ulysses Stream of consciousness novel
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Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2006
Downloads: 306
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Abstract


The disputes over iconicity and arbitrariness can be dated back to the ancient Greek times. Saussure, the founder of modern linguistics and structuralism, put forward the arbitrariness of language which has been considered as the most important principle ruling the whole language system. Peirce identifies three types of signs—icon, index and symbol—which differ from each other in terms of the degree of arbitrariness. Iconicity refers to the natural relation between the signifier and the signified. According to previous studies, iconicity exists in every aspect of language.Through the qualitative analysis on the language used in the famous stream of consciousness novel Ulysses, this dissertation obtains a tentative conclusion that iconicity largely exists in the stream of consciousness novel and has got some unique stylistic effect. Due to the four categories of iconicity in language, the author analyzes Ulysses in terms of textual iconicity based upon sentence order, syntactic iconicity based upon word order, morphological iconicity based upon word structure, and phonological iconicity based upon the imitative and affective associations of sounds. Moreover, a contrastive analysis is made between Ulysses and some other famous stream of consciousness novel both in western and eastern culture so as to find out the differences and similarities of applying iconicity. The study shows that, in phonological aspect, the frequent use of onomatopoeia and alliteration is a good illustration for phonological iconicity; in morphological aspect, a large amount of self-created coinages are the application of iconicity; in syntactic aspect, iconicity plays a prominent role because all the three basic techniques: free association, interior monologue and time and space montage are closely related to iconicity; in textual aspect, the arrangement of chapters in Ulysses is actually a reflection of the real world at that time, showing iconic. On the whole, the stream of consciousness novel appears to be more iconic than common novels by referring to the comparison between Ulysses and some other novels.The study is instructive both practically and theoretically. Practically, on the basis of examining the manifestation of stylistic value of iconicity will benefit literature creation and appreciation. What’s more, the application of iconicity may be extended to other fields, such as foreign language teaching and translation. Theoretically, it might shed light on the significance of iconicity, and enrich the understanding of the stream of consciousness novel.

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