Negative inversion, social meaning, and gricean implicature: A study across three texas ethnolects

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

In his classic little book entitled The Hedgehog and the Fox (Berlin 1953: 2), Oxford philosopher Isaiah Berlin, drawing inspiration from the ancient Greek poet Archilochus, writes of two kinds of thinkers. The first of these, the hedgehog, will "relate everything to a single central vision in terms of which alone all they are and say has significance." The second of Archilochus's and Berlin's thinkers is the fox, which pursues "many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only in some de facto way." In this present book, it will seem that we start off as a fox, pursuing a range of seemingly disparate ideas with respect to Negative Inversion in three varieties of Texas English. By the end of the book, however, it will be clear that it has been a hedgehog type of process all along, with the facts of pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and grammar coming together to make a wholistic, all-embracing, hedgehog type of sense of the construction. Negative Inversion will ultimately be shown to be a very complex construction, but one that can be understood nonetheless with only a few simple sociolinguistic facts and a pragmatic system in which to interpret them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages213
ISBN (Electronic)9781501512346
ISBN (Print)9781501512360
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 8 2020

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