Examination of the Phenomenon of Tropes in a Litigious Text Cover Image

Tropų fenomenas ginčytino teksto ekspertizėse
Examination of the Phenomenon of Tropes in a Litigious Text

Author(s): Regina Koženiauskienė
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Vytauto Didžiojo Universitetas Švietimo akademija
Keywords: dysphemism; forensic linguistics; emphasis; explicit and implicit metaphor; ethics; ethical stylistics; euphemism; hyperbole; language game; catachresis; linguistic examination; manipulation; metonymy; oxymoron; trope.

Summary/Abstract: Tropes are described by style analysts as madness, abuse or anomaly, therefore in linguistic examinations of texts where words or utterances are used in a figurative sense it is not easy to get into the speaker’s mind and to resolve the semantic ambiguity. It is impossible to look for logic where the utterances belong to the sphere of paralogic. However, these utterances are erroneous only from the point of view of logic, yet from the point of view of stylistics, a trope is seen to produce some connotation, some additional information, and this usage is acceptable. The peculiarity of tropes is that they hardly yield to legal restrictions and the author of “flippant” language games can avoid legal responsibility more easily. The illogicallity and flippancy of language games is usually compensated for by the effectiveness of tropes as a means of psychological impact. Sometimes one sentence does not suffice and the semantics of the information transferred is revealed through the pragmatic characteristics of the communicative situation, larger text or context, both linguistic and extralinguistic. The semantics of the trope is directly related to the circumstances of its use. Explicit tropes are clearer and easier to decipher. The more worn, frequent, fixed the trope is (most frequently these are conventional metaphors), the smaller the number of possible guesses is, the fewer the conundrums are. Conversely, the more original, unusual, newer the language game with implicit tropes is, the greater the possible number of interpretations is. Tropes may have the nature of a hint, their semantics may be optional, unexpected. Utterances used in a figurative sense produce different allusions, several layers of meaning which are difficult to grasp immediately, therefore tropes may be understood and interpreted differently, and different hypotheses may be suggested. The only possibility in any case is a guess with the risk of semantic incompleteness. However, the price of the word said in public may sometimes be too high to play with language without first considering all the consequences

  • Issue Year: 11/2009
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 52-60
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Lithuanian