The Stylistics of ‘You': Second-Person Pronoun and its Pragmatic Effects

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The Stylistics of ‘You': Second-Person Pronoun and its Pragmatic Effects

English | ISBN: 1108833020 | 2022 | 280 pages | PDF | 3 MB

This book takes 'you', the reader, on board an interdisciplinary journey across genre, time and medium with the second-person pronoun. It offers a model of the various pragmatic functions and effects of 'you' according to different variables and linguistic parameters, cutting across a wide range of genres (ads, political slogans, tweets, news presentation, literary genres etc.), and bringing together print and digital texts under the same theoretical banner. Drawing on recent research into intersubjectivity in neuropsychology and socio-cognition, it delves into the relational and ethical processing at work in the reading of a second-person pronoun narrative. When 'you' takes on its more traditional deictic function of address, the author-reader channel can be opened in different ways, which is explored in examples taken from Fielding, Brontë, Orwell, Kincaid, Grimsley, Royle, Adichie, Bartlett, Auster, and even Spacey's 'creepy' 2018 YouTube video, ultimately foregrounding continuities and contrasts in the positioning of the audience.
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