International Journal of Literary Linguistics

The International Journal of Literary Linguistics (IJLL) is an open-access, peer-review journal published by Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany) that is dedicated to the publication of original research at the interface of literary studies and linguistics. The journal provides an innovative forum for articles participating in the recent reshaping of the field of literary linguistics under the influence of pragmatics, functional linguistics and cognitive studies. It aims at contributing to a new, dialogic understanding of literary production and reception. The journal invites contributions from scholars working on different languages and literatures.

Submissions to the journal may be concerned with (but are not restricted to) the following topics: Textuality, intertextuality, dialogism, narratology, stylistics, genre, in spoken, written and multimodal texts (and in their adaptations into other media). We are also interested in publishing special issues edited by guest editors as well as reviews of scholarly books of relevance.

Publication language is English.

The work of the editorial team is supported by an advisory board comprising some of the most eminent scholars in the field of literary linguistics.

If you are interested in submitting an article, please go to the About the Journal page to find out more.

Vol 5, No 4 (2016): Processing Effort and Poetic Closure

Nigel Fabb (University of Strathclyde)

Smith (1968) argues that poems may end with formal changes which produce an experience of closure in the reader. I argue that formal changes do not directly cause an experience of closure. Instead, changes in poetic form always demand increased processing effort from the reader, whether they involve new forms, shifts from more to less regular form, or from less to more regular form. I use relevance theory (Sperber and Wilson 1995) to argue that the increased processing effort encourages the reader to formulate rich and relevant thoughts, including the thought 'this poem has closure'. Closure is thus the content of a thought rather than a type of experience. I further argue that 'closure' is a term whose meaning cannot be fully understood, which makes the thought 'this poem has closure' into a schematic belief of the kind which Sperber shows has great richness and productivity. This is one of the reasons that the thought 'this poem has closure' achieves sufficient relevance to justify the effort put into processing the end of the poem.

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Nigel Fabb