Date: 13 June 2014
This presentation addresses two main points. The first one is Corpus Pattern Analysis (CPA) and the Theory of Norms and Exploitations (TNE). CPA is a methodology which aims to account for meaning through the analysis of collocational, syntactic and semantic preferences of words in context. A central pillar of this theory is that meanings are associated with patterns of use (words in context), rather than words in isolation. Based on the aforementioned methodology, TNE sheds light on the ways people use language to create meanings by differentiating norms from exploitations. TNE asserts that human language is rule-governed behaviour, there are two sets of rules: rules for norms (i.e. using language normally) and rules for exploiting the norms. There is no sharp dividing line between a norm and an exploitation. The whole theory is based on the notion that meanings are created by mapping prototypical beliefs onto prototypical patterns of use. The second point is my PhD work. I study the way Raymond Chandler uses language, focusing on adjectives. There are major differences between adjectives used as predicators (e.g. he seems happy) and adjectives used attributively (e.g. a happy man). The key issue is how TNE and CPA may allow a better understanding of Chandler’s idiosyncratic use of language (e.g. Dead men are heavier than broken hearts).