Question-answer thematic units in Nobel lectures delivered by prizewinners in the field of literature


  • L. I. Pavlenko


Ключові слова:

the Nobel lecture, structural analysis, a content component, coherence, a rhetorical mode, a syntactic stylistic device, pathos, dialogicity.


The article provides a detailed structural, content, pragmatic, and stylistic examination of question-answer thematic entities (units) in Nobel lectures. A method of linguistic description and observation and a contextual-interpretation method are used in the research.The author has defined the compositional role of these units on the paragraph level demonstrating that they function as an attention-getter at the beginning, as a "springboard" for further discussion in the middle, and as a clincher in the final position. Four ways of their internal organization have been identified taking into consideration the correlation and order of questions and answers blocks; different types of questions are used. The study has distinguished seven rhetorical modes of content delivery, namely cause-effect, problem-solution, contrast-comparison, classification (division), process analysis, description, and exemplification. Typical syntactic stylistic devices have been also analysed and literature laureates masterfully combine various kinds of them to make their speeches colourful and persuasive. The approach to the linguistic material based on studying speakers' ethical strategies reveals that question-answer thematic entities are a widely-used method to build pathos (a rhetoric category) in the lecture. The potential of the discussed units to intensify lecture coherence and imply a dialogue with the audience is stressed. This article further develops the author's previous research in this field that was devoted to specifying the ways the image of a writer is rendered in Nobel lectures; moreover, close connection between the content of the lecture and the laureate's social, moral, professional, political, religious, and aesthetic values was proven.


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