Stylistics meets cognitive science: studying style in fiction and readers' attention from an interdisciplinary perspective

Emmott, C. , Sanford, A.J. and Dawydiak, E. (2007) Stylistics meets cognitive science: studying style in fiction and readers' attention from an interdisciplinary perspective. Style, 41(2), pp. 204-226.

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Publisher's URL: http://www.style.niu.edu/vol41n2.html

Abstract

Readers' attention has been studied in stylistics using notions such as foregrounding (Mukalovsky) and psychological prominence (Leech and Short). In this article, we offer a fresh perspective on this topic from Cognitive Science. Our research draws on the psychological framework of "depth of processing" (e.g. Sanford and Sturt), which provides a context for studying different degrees of attention during reading. We identify stylistic features and narratological cues in fiction which we intuitively feel to be "attention-capturing devices". We then use a new psycholinguistic technique, the text-change detection method (Sturt et al.), to test whether the stylistic features we have selected really do make readers more attentive, in the sense of making them more alert to textual detail.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Emmott, Dr Catherine
Authors: Emmott, C., Sanford, A.J., and Dawydiak, E.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Style

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
362761Stylistics, text analysis and cognitive science - interdisciplinary perspectives on the nature of readingCatherine EmmottThe Arts & Humanities Research BoardAHRB-POSTCRIT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE