The representation of the workings of the characters’ minds in two novels by Magda Szabó (Mondják meg Zsófikának and Álarcosbál)
The present study examines the typical features of the frequent viewpoint shifts of the characters in two novels by Magda Szabó, which are thought to belong to juvenile literature. This technique can also be observed in other works of the popular Hungarian writer, Magda Szabó, but due to the less complex interpretative mechanisms required by the books that target young people, the shifting of viewpoints is more explicit in these books. Both novels tell the story of a young girl and during the course of these books we cannot only hear the thoughts of the two little girls but we can also gain an insight into the minds of the other characters in their close environment. Furthermore, alongside the story that evolves from the immediate thoughts of the characters, the voice of the narrator plays an important role too. With the help of the concepts of cognitive linguistics, which assumes the dynamic construal of meaning, the present essay tackles the problem in two units. In the first part it discusses the relationship of the characters to each other, then in the second part it is concerned with the narrator’s connections to the characters. In both cases, in the horizontal as well as in the vertical relations, the study scrutinises the referential and mental parallels. The analysis takes into account the effects of the representation of time, space, physical and mental reality on the plausible interpretations of the text; more specifically it examines the various perspectives from which different world representations can be construed linguistically and mentally.
A possible interpretation of absurd wordplays based on the theory of conceptual blending
In the present study the possibility of a new, primarily semantic approach to absurd wordplays is raised with the help of the conceptual blending theory of Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner. The demonstrative examples of the study are selected from the works of the L’art pour l’art Theatre Company, a Hungarian theatre group which performs absurd sketches. Contrary to previous structural approaches, the cognitive linguistic vantage point of the present paper enables the discussion of some mental mechanisms behind the creation and the understanding of wordplays. The question of determining the nature of incongruity, which is an essential characteristic of absurd humour, is also addressed in the research. From a cognitive linguistic perspective wordplays can be explained as the association of relevant knowledge fragments, and as such can be illustrated according to conceptual blending theory. Wordplays can be handled as unique blends that combine the natural and “expected” interpretations with the actual but less conventional interpretations, which in the process of reinterpretation can lead to the integration of input spaces. The role of situational and thematic context is also considered in the analyses of the selected utterances of the sketches. In the present paper it is also observed that the sequences of wordplays create a special, extra layer of meaning in the texts.
A tanulmányokat és a cikkeket lektorálta: Bengi László, Domonkosi Ágnes, Kugler Nóra, Simon Gábor és Tátrai Szilárd. A szövegek gondozásában az ELTE Magyar nyelv és irodalom mesterszakának Alkalmazott nyelvészet szakirányos hallgatói voltak a segítségünkre: Grubits Zsuzsa, Misák Dóra, Pölcz Ádám és Tóth Judit.