Grounded Spaces: Deictic - Self Anaphors in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson

Language and Literature, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 7-28, 1997

43 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2009

See all articles by Margaret H. Freeman

Margaret H. Freeman

Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts - MICA

Date Written: 1997

Abstract

Ungrammaticality in poetry, when it is considered ‘acceptable’ by literary critics, has been characteristically dismissed as ‘poetic license’, as though poets are somehow exempt from the constraints on linguistic usage. Autonomous (traditional or transformational) grammar has no explanation for the occurrence of forms such as Emily Dickinson’s -self anaphor pronouns. On the contrary, under a cognitive linguistic account, her apparently ungrammatical-self anaphors are perfectly grammatical. Dickinson’s -self anaphors, grounded in mental spaces, are triggered by the subject/agent of their originating space. That the grounding of these self-anaphors makes them deictic is attested by the existence of ‘crossover’ spaces. Dickinson’s use of the -self anaphor in projected mental spaces makes the self deictically present in that space: not any self, but the self as agent in the originating space. By using the principle of -self anaphor projection from the subject/agent in one mental space into another, Dickinson creates for us a world of possibilities: a world in which things can happen and be made to happen through the agencies of the self.

Keywords: anaphor, cognitive grammar, deictic pronouns, Emily Dickinson, mental spaces

Suggested Citation

Freeman, Margaret H., Grounded Spaces: Deictic - Self Anaphors in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson (1997). Language and Literature, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 7-28, 1997, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1428426

Margaret H. Freeman (Contact Author)

Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts - MICA ( email )

23 Avery Brook Road
Heath, MA 01346-0132
United States
413 337 4854 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/a/case.edu/myrifield/

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