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Linguistics and Literature

by Samuel R. Levin - 1970

Literature is language charged with a special function. The ordinary function of language is to convey information; the function of literature is, in addition, to please or to move. Literature thus poses certain problems for linguistics. Since the latter is designed, fundamentally, to deal with the ordinary function of language; it is not obvious that it is capable of dealing also with what, in general, we may call its esthetic function, which is usually conceded to fall within the purview of literary criticism. It would thus appear that in order to render an adequate account of literature one would need either a literary theory that assimilated linguistics or a linguistic theory that embodied literary criticism.

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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 69, No. 2.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 71 Number 6, 1970, p. 302-323
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 19586, Date Accessed: 10/30/2020 2:28:56 PM

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