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On a range of different levels, texts can be studied in the light of the Cooperative and Politeness principles with some benefit. A pragmatic stylistic approach, based on the interface between stylistics and pragmatics, allows us to explain how it is that we have arrived at a particular interpretation of literary discourse. The application of main pragmatic principles and categories to literary discourse analysis adds another dimension to the (until now predominantly semantic) study of such complex phenomena as humour and irony. Since humour and irony arise from the interplay between the utterance and a particular situation, their understanding involves inferential processes, highly dependent on the nature of the shared background knowledge, frames and schemata related to provided environment, settings, contexts and situations. Similarly, we can explain why we come to certain views via the implicatures we access.

A variety of objections raised against the application of pragmatic principles to literary discourse analysis focus on “literariness”, allusive style and non-transparent language used in literary discourse. As shown by sample analyses, these objections are debatable and most of them can be clarified (more or less) easily. In general, pragmatic principles enhanced by the frame theory can be successfully applied within the process of analysing literary/written discourse. As for the notion of literary language, the competent reader is likely to appreciate its allusive style, and many times will experience more enjoyment in it than when used in a fully transparent manner.

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