Telicity, Aspect, and the Creation of "Fictional Truth": Lubomr Dolezel's Contributions to Understanding Metaphor and Cognition

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Xu, Taffeta Chime
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Middle Tennessee State University
The compilation of my research as a whole shows the residual influence and continuing value of Prague School linguistic theories on the study of narrative. Alongside challenges in the study of (especially Czech and Slovak) languages, the analysis of narrative has been the main context for the application of Prague School thinking. Yet, unfortunately, most literary scholars, unfamiliar with general linguistic principles that could strengthen understanding of how narrative works, are even less aware of specific contributions made by the Prague School. This academically impoverishing and widely prevalent unfamiliarity has a calculated, even sinister, origin almost certainly related to the Prague School's intentional dispersal and the active suppression of their ideas at the hands of the Nazis and later the Soviets during their respective occupations. My hope with this thesis is to raise awareness of the Prague School's relevance to studies of the mind involved in interpreting figurative language--especially metaphor. My thesis argues for the relevance of the Prague Linguistic Circle's thought, and especially that of Lubomr Dolezel, to analyses of the role of metaphor in cognition. Dolezel's work on the part grammar plays in the conception of time in Balto-Slavic languages, for instance, reveals an elegant understanding of metaphor as a "medium of cognition." Dolezel's discussions of telicity and aspect, specifically, and of the creative formulae involved in narrative's "fictional worlds," contribute in significant ways to developing research on artificial intelligence and the programmability of creative processes.
Aspect, Czech, Metaphor, Prague, Structuralism