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Book Sections Year : 2019

Speech Verbs in French and English Novels


This article examines the speech verbs or verba dicendi used to embed direct speech in English and French fiction. Our approach is a corpus-stylistic one using a corpus consisting of English and French romance, crime and fantasy novels. We analyzed the distribution of speech verbs that differentiates the romance, crime, and fantasy genres in French and English. In the process, we drew on a typology of speech verbs developed by Harras et al. (Handbuch deutscher Kommunikationsverben. Teil I: Wörterbuch. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 2004), on the identification of contrastive word specificities, on Correspondence Analysis as well as measures of lexical variation. The results suggest that the distribution of the speech verbs classes in English and French as well as in the different subgenres can be attributed in part to the stylistic preferences of the two languages. Furthermore, the findings can be related to different genre conventions as well as to discrepancies in the genre traditions of the two literatures.
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hal-02117776 , version 1 (02-05-2019)



Sascha Diwersy, Laetitia Gonon, Vannina Goossens, Marion Gymnich, Agnès Tutin. Speech Verbs in French and English Novels. Novakova, Iva and Siepmann, Dirk. Phraseology and style in subgenres of the novel: a synthesis of corpus and literary perspectives, Palgrave McMillan (Springer), pp.83-113, 2019, 978-3-030-23744-8. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-23744-8_4⟩. ⟨hal-02117776⟩
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