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Events and Narratives in Language


Janusz Badio

This book analyzes events and narratives from the points of view of literature, grammar, discourse, and semantics. The contributors explore the issues related to the ways of portraying stories and their events within a cultural and literary framework. They also examine the role of prefixes in construing events and asymmetries that exist in time-creating event markers from a contrastive perspective. The contributions focus on narrativity as a semantic category, and on how events are described in signed languages. They place the event and narrative categories at the center of interest and their specific goals are pursued by applying different, both qualitative and quantitative, research methods.

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Storytelling, Legal Procedure, and Narrative Construction in Spanish Inquisitorial Records (Ted L. L. Bergman)


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Ted L. L. Bergman

University of St Andrews, Scotland

Storytelling, Legal Procedure, and Narrative Construction in Spanish Inquisitorial Records

Abstract: This article will look at two specific cases from the Spanish National Historical Archives and examine how narratives are constructed within the framework of the Inquisition’s religious and legal interrogation techniques. The first example deals with witness accounts of a dentist charged with blasphemy and how these build a story around the exact event of the crime in question. In the overall narrative, control is transferred from the accused to the institution by a movement away from personal and professional discourse into the religious and legal discourses dominated by the Inquisition. The second focuses on testimony from an investigation provoked by the use of opium by an Inquisitorial prisoner, in an effort to resist pain under torture. As an event, the opium use spawns narratives that exceed the bounds of ordinary questioning in terms of religious and legal subject matter. In the exchanges examined for this second case, one form of discourse (medical) displaces the others (religious and legal), and spawn narrative digressions that create forays into others discourses, whether military or centred on geopolitics.

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