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Title: Iconicity in literature – a case study in J.R.R. Tolkien’s the lord of the rings
Authors: Dr. CHEUNG Ka-yee, Marjorie 
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong
Abstract: When dealing with iconicity, an interdisciplinary approach is almost mandatory. On one hand, a closer look from a linguist’s point of view at how iconicity works in ordinary language is highly instructive for the literary critics because literature consists in a creative exploitation of the inherent qualities of everyday language; on the other hand, the linguist will also greatly profit from a critical examination of the literary use of the iconic potential intrinsic to language because literature as an important communicative device has an importance far beyond that which it has in everyday language. A case study in Professor Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings indicates a vast potential of iconic use in literature. The fact that J.R.R. Tolkien, the acclaimed author of The Lord of the Rings, being Professor of the English language, a philologist as well as a writer, has integrated his linguistic percepts of sound, form and meaning into his creative literary masterpiece celebrates such an interdisciplinary approach of iconicity. It is this approach of iconicity which is the subject of this paper. The theory of iconicity will be applied from the existing linguistic stock. Special attentions will be paid to phonetic iconicity which interests Professor Tolkien. This will be followed by the attempt made by Tolkien to validate the phonetic fitness of sound, form and meaning, an endeavor to assert Tolkien’s sensibility to the concept of iconicity. The paper ends with a case study in The Lord of the Rings, the level of iconicity in question being phonology.
Type: Thesis
Appears in Collections:English Language & Literature - Publication

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