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Constructing scenic moments : grammatical and rhetoric-stylistic devices for staging past events in everyday narratives

Constructing scenic moments : grammatical and rhetoric-stylistic devices for staging past events in everyday narratives

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GÜNTHNER, Susanne, 2000. Constructing scenic moments : grammatical and rhetoric-stylistic devices for staging past events in everyday narratives

@techreport{Gunthner2000Const-3709, series={InLiSt - Interaction and Linguistic Structures}, title={Constructing scenic moments : grammatical and rhetoric-stylistic devices for staging past events in everyday narratives}, year={2000}, number={22}, author={Günthner, Susanne} }

In this paper I shall analyze grammatical and rhetoric-stylistic devices speakers use in order to construct scenic moments and to build up narrative tension in everyday narratives, especially in complaint stories.<br /><br />Complaint stories belong to the 'family' of 'reconstructive communicative genres' (Bergmann/Luckmann 1995) which recontextualize past experience in the social-communicative present time. They are 'big packages', according to Sacks (1968-72/92), i.e. relatively long sequences of talk. The 'participation framework' of complaint stories includes:<br /><br />a) The narrator and complainant, who appears as protagonist in the narrative. This protagonist is the victim of some wrongdoing in the storyworld.<br /><br />b) The recipients of the complaint story, who are not part of the storyworld and thus were not witnesses of the events being reconstructed.<br /><br />c) The antagonist and wrongdoer who harmed, unjustly attacked, or wronged the protagonist and who is not present in the narrating situation.<br /><br />The antagonist's morally inappropriate behavior towards the protagonist forms the focus of the narrative (Günthner 1997; 2000a).<br /><br />I will argue that narrators of complaint stories not only reconstruct the wrongdoings of others, but also stage these past events as 'little shows' (Goffman 1986 [1974]: 506); i.e. they present them as something for the recipients 'to re-experience, to dwell on, to savor' (Goffman 1986 [1974]: 506). In the following analysis I will present the grammatical and rhetoric-stylistic devices narrators use to stage past events in complaint stories.<br /><br />This analysis is based on 36 complaint stories, which were narrated in informal German conversation (conversations over dinner, during coffee-breaks and over the telephone) among friends and family members. application/pdf 2011-03-24T10:06:13Z Günthner, Susanne Constructing scenic moments : grammatical and rhetoric-stylistic devices for staging past events in everyday narratives Günthner, Susanne 2011-03-24T10:06:13Z eng deposit-license 2000

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