Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Semantics,pragmatics,lexicology, meaning school > Semantics, pragmatics

The Analysis of Intertextual Properties in Song Lyrics and Their Pragmatic Functions

Author SunGuiGuan
Tutor XinBin
School Nanjing Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords song text lyrics intertextuality intertextual techniques pragmatic function
CLC H030
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 19
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Intertextuality is one of the most important concepts in Post-Modernism and Post-Structuralism. In 1960s, Julia Kristeva, a French scholar, first put forward the concept of intertextuality. After Kristeva, many scholars have also developed the theory of intertextuality from different perspectives. Intertextuality refers to the interconnectedness of cultural narratives, such that current texts refer always backward to structures and ideas contained in earlier texts (Barthes 1971). Each generation’s patters of discourse are built upon those of preceding generations (Hirschman, Scott and Wells 1998). Through the study of the relations between song lyrics and other texts, this thesis intends to demonstrate that no text is an isolated island and that every text is closely connected with other texts. The thesis will also show that whether this connection between and among texts can be successfully interpreted or not largely depends on the degree of readers’understanding of the intertextual property. In this thesis we will mainly focus on the analysis of intertextual properties and relations in lyrics. As for the tune, the other component of the song, will also be touched upon. More specifically, we will demonstrate three expressing forms of intertextual property (allusion, quotation, parody) used by producers to connect their own personal narratives to the larger cultural discourse surrounding them. This thesis is to analyze the printed song lyrics with the aid of the theory of intertextuality; the main reason is that the abundant connotation, which can be fully mastered through the analysis of intertextual property, lies under the comparatively succinct linguistic expression. The simple linguistic forms of song lyrics call for the varied and effective rhetorical techniques and imagery in order to be easily remembered, and how can the song writers achieve this goal is the key point of analysis in this thesis. It will be demonstrated that the three intertextual relationships discussed in this thesis can also be found in examples of song lyrics. At the same time, this thesis points out that the effect of the use of intertextual techniques in song lyrics may be affected by several factors, such as the relativity of intertextuality, the degree of the application and the interpretative techniques of lyricists and recipients and so on.

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