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Language and its Contexts-- Le Langage et ses contextes

Transposition and Transformation of Meaning?-- Transposition et transformation du sens ?

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Pierre-Alexis Mével and Helen Tattam

Inspired by a postgraduate French studies conference (University of Nottingham, 10 September 2008), this volume explores linguistic form and content in relation to a variety of contexts, considering language alongside music, images, theatre, human experience of the world, and another language. Each essay asks what it is to understand language in a given context, and how, in spite of divergent expressive possibilities, a linguistic situation interacts with other contexts, renegotiating boundaries and redefining understanding. The book lies at the intersection of linguistics and hermeneutics, seeking to (a) contextualise philosophical and linguistic discussions of communication across a range of media and (b) illustrate their intimate relations, despite differing strategies or emphases.
Puisant son inspiration dans un colloque de French studies pour doctorants (Université de Nottingham, 10 septembre 2008), cet ouvrage étudie forme et contenu linguistiques en relation avec différents contextes, considérant le langage conjointement avec la musique, les images, le théâtre, l’expérience du monde et un autre langage. Chaque chapitre dissèque la compréhension du langage dans un contexte donné, et se demande comment, en dépit de possibilités expressives divergentes, une situation linguistique interagit avec d’autres contextes, redessinant leurs frontières et redéfinissant la compréhension. Ce livre, situé à l’intersection entre la linguistique et l’herméneutique, a pour but de (a) contextualiser les discussions philosophiques et linguistiques sur la communication dans une gamme de médias et (b) démontrer leur relation intime, malgré des stratégies ou intentions différentes.

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Foreword by Raphael Salkie xi

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Foreword The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Nottingham is a bright light in the dark landscape of language programmes at British universities. In September 2008, the School organised a French Studies postgraduate conference around the theme of the relationship between language and the contexts in which it occurs. The enthusiasm and energy of the organ- isers was inspiring, resulting in an excellent conference and subsequently this book. For most of my professional life I have studied language in isolation, or with a very limited notion of context. Each September the puzzled looks on the faces of new undergraduates remind me how strange this is. Fortunately my interests in translation and in legal language have helped me see the bigger picture: when the footballer Steven Gerrard was charged with ‘assault occasioning actual bodily harm’ in a nightclub (in my home town of Southport, as it happens), French reports spoke of ‘violences et voies de fait’. Centuries of specific legal traditions have led to these very different formulations. It’s all about context. The papers in this book have given me even sharper reminders of what can be gained by looking at language across different contexts. I am struck by the courage it takes to analyse language in relation to music, the stage, literature and visual images. It certainly isn’t easy to use this approach to produce solid research, as this book does. The mixture of close reading of texts and wrestling with wider issues is the key, and the researchers...

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