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Titolo: The creative use of linguistic deviation in Alan Bissett's novel The Incredible Adam Spark
Data di pubblicazione: 2019
Abstract: Adam Spark, the 18-year-old narrator of Alan Bissett’s second novel, has an unspecified cognitive disorder, believes that he has supernatural powers and speaks an extraordinary idiolect in which a wide range of diverse elements are combined and fused: Scots dialect, UK and US youth slang, original puns and word play, references to both popular culture and literary works that he has heard about but never read, the argot of youth gangs in his neighbourhood, and football stadium songs about religious conflict and historical grievances. The author provides further insights into the workings of Adam’s troubled mind through the use of unconventional spelling and punctuation as well as deviant grammatical forms and changes of typeface. The result is a stream-of-consciousness narration expressed through an idiolect that is frequently untranslatable and which also creates comprehension difficulties for native speakers of English who do not share share the narrator’s background, interests (or obsessions) and difficulty with conventional communication. Using the investigative tools of stylistics and discourse analysis – in particular the methodologies proposed by Geoffrey Leech, Mick Short and Lesley Jeffries – this work examines the author’s creative use of lexical, semantic, grammatical and discoursal deviation, plus innovative coinages and highly original metaphors, to foreground aspects of Adam’s struggle to interact with his fellow human beings despite his inability to use language in a conventional way. Adam’s deviations from the linguistic norms are not random, however; as the novel progresses recurrent features emerge and it becomes evident that his peculiar idiolect is more systematic than it may appear from the initial pages. His neologisms, lexical blends and imaginative puns enable him to construct a bridge between the “normal” communication going on around him and his unconventional processing of such input. In effect, his linguistic creativity is not in conflict with conventionality; on the contrary, it helps him make sense of what he hears and rescues him from the danger of social isolation.
ISBN: 978-88-3339-244-8
Tipologia:4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno

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