When EVERYTHING STANDS OUT, nothing does : typography, expectations and procedures

Scott, Kate and Jackson, Rebecca (2020) When EVERYTHING STANDS OUT, nothing does : typography, expectations and procedures. In: Piskorska, Agnieszka, (ed.) Relevance theory, figuration and continuity in pragmatics. John Benjamins Publishing. (Figurative Thought and Language) (In Press)

Abstract

Writers often use typographical features such as capitalization, boldface or underlining to draw attention to particular words or phrases in a written text. In this article we use ideas from the relevance-theoretic pragmatic framework to discuss how use of typographical features may convey meaning and/or produce stylistic or literary effects in written texts. We show how typography, like prosody in spoken language, can be used intentionally to guide a reader’s interpretation. We discuss a range of examples to show how typographical features are interpreted relative to the rest of the text and relative to the cultural norms and expectations associated with a particular language and writing system.

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