Talking Voices: Repetition, Dialogue and Imagery in Conversational Discourse Deborah Tannen (Georgetown University, Washington DC)
Talking Voices is a radical contribution to both linguistic and literary analysis. In this important new book Deborah Tannen shows how conversation provides the source for linguistic strategies that are shaped and elaborated in literary discourse and other spoken and written, public and private genres. She explores the scenic and musical basis of both textual meaning and interpersonal involvement in discourse. Repetition establishes rhythm and meaning by patterns of constants and contrasts. Dialogue and imagery create scenes peopled by characters in relation to each other, doing things that are culturally and personally recognizable and meaningful. Talking Voices provides a framework for understanding how conversation works and for examining how strategies that are pervasive and spontaneous in conversation are intertwined and elaborated in public speaking and other spoken genres and in written literary discourse. It is not only linguists and literary specialists who will find their understanding advanced, but all readers with a serious interest in the social and cultural aspects of communication.