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A study of the language in Tobias Smollett's 'Roderick Random'

Pratt, T K; (1974) A study of the language in Tobias Smollett's 'Roderick Random'. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The language of Smollett is often commented on, but seldom described. This thesis attempts to describe the language of his first, formative novel. The ten chapters form two "Parts," of five chapters each, reflecting the two methods of description used. "Part I" analyses and compares selected, representative passages. The central passage from Roderick Random for each chapter appears again in "Appendix 1,1: photographed from the fourth edition of 1755. "Part I" is weighted towards narration. "Part 11," weighted towards dialogue, traces certain pervasive language features throughout the novel: names, regional dialects, occupational dialects, idiolects, and proverbs and catch-phrases. The aim of the study is not, primarily, to characterize Smollett's idiosyncracies, but to discover in this novel his effective devices. The "Conclusion" summarizes these devices, in arguing that most of them work to create that 'vigour' which impresses so many commentators as a fundamental aspect of Smollett's prose. Also included are two appendices, on grammatical terms and phonemic symbols, to assist the bias towards linguistics that occasionally manifests itself in this description of language. "Appendix IV" is a personal supplement to the New English Dictionary. This "Abstract" is enlarged upon in the "Introduction."

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A study of the language in Tobias Smollett's 'Roderick Random'
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by EThOS.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546143
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