Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Letters and Arts
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Foreignness in the Nineteenth Century Romanian Novel (1845-1900): From Semantic Valences to Specific Markers of Novelistic Subgenres
Abstract: This paper operates with the archive of digitized texts (about 150 novels published between 1845 and 1900) offered by the project ASTRA Data Mining: The Digital Museum of the 19th Century Romanian Novel. By identifying the occurrences for the term “străin” (“foreign/er”; “strange/r”) and its entire lexical family, the study intends to prove that there is a strong correlation between linguistic signs and literary concepts. More precisely, my survey finds its starting point in the methodology developed by Ryan Heuser and Long Le-Khac. The two researchers use the pair of notions “signal/concept,” where “signal” means “any number of things that are readily tracked computationally” and “concept” represents “the phenomenon that we take a signal to stand for, or the phenomenon we take the signal to reveal,” in order to explain their working method. This precisely is the main reason why I have chosen to classify the occurrences of my key-word based on their semantic valence and to discuss semantic variation as an important indicator in trying to delineate different types of literary discourse and the novelistic subgenres. Lastly, my paper intends to provide a complete ad litteram image of “foreignness” as it occurs in the nineteenth-century Romanian novel. This image will be formed based on the meanings (“implicit” and “explicit” meaning, according to Teun A. van Dijk’s delineation) of the terms that comprise the lexical family for my key-word and on the context (the “micro-” and “macrocontext”) in which these words occur as well.
Keywords: ad litteram image of “foreignness,” lexical family, nineteenth-century Romanian novel, semantic valence, semantic variation, subgenres of novel.
Citation suggestion: Morariu, David. “Foreignness in the Nineteenth Century Romanian Novel (1845-1900): From Semantic Valences to Specific Markers of Novelistic Subgenres” Transilvania, no. 6-7 (2022): 120-135. https://doi.org/10.51391/trva.2022.06-07.15.