Ludic language : the case of the punning echoic allusion

Title: Ludic language : the case of the punning echoic allusion
Author: Lennon, Paul
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2011, vol. 37, iss. 1, pp. [79]-95
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
This paper is concerned with punning echoic allusion. First, a distinction is drawn between common parlance senses of allusion (vague reference) and the literary idea of echoic allusion (cryptic quotation). It is then shown that echoic allusion involves play with multiple meanings in the manner of a pun and, like the pun, is highly dependent for its effect on the fact that the potential polysemy of individual words at the level of langue is only disambiguated at the level of parole by both situational and linguistic context. Examples of allusions based on verbatim quotation are compared to perfect puns, while allusions based on nonverbatim quotation are compared to imperfect puns. Grice's (1975) model of comprehension of indirect language is then modified and expanded to chart the processes by which readers (and listeners) understand punning echoic allusion. Finally, the possible motivations writers may have for punning echoic allusion are considered.
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