Iconicity and the literary text: A cognitive analysis
Abstract The paper reformulates the iconization process, which is held to involve the reader’s text reading strategy (cf. Johansen, 1996, 2003), in terms of R. W. Langacker’s (1999) theory of subjectification. Drawing on the Peircean distinction between imaginal iconicity and diagrammatic iconicity, we claim that the reader, while interpreting a literary work, uncovers the relations underlying the text’s structure, of which the iconic relations are a vital part. The paper focuses on the text’s iconic relations of quantity, proximity, sequential order and discusses the “iconization” strategies used by the reader, including path following, sorting, and “kaleidoscope strategy” in the sense of Ungerer (2005). By making an attempt to uncover the complex iconic relations in a literary text, and thus by “subjectifying” it, the reader arrives at the text’s possible interpretations.