• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

I. V. Arnold’s Theory of Foregrounding and Its Application to Text Analysis

Interlitteraria. 2020. Vol. 25. No. 1. P. 16-25.

The theory of foregrounding, developed by St. Petersburg scholar
Irina Vladimirovna Arnold in the middle of the 20th century, was rather
revolutionary for its time as it aimed to establish connection between
formal levels of the language and textual meanings that allowed the
reader to decode the author’s message. Arnold identifies four principal
elements of foregrounding that disclose conceptual textual meaning: the
strong position of a text, repetitions on different levels of language, the
convergence of stylistic devices and defeated expectancy. The professor
states that these elements of the text are always intentional and, thus, give
a key to understanding the author’s message and position. This theory,
being universal and easy to apply, has been widely used by Russian scholars
working in the domain of textual linguistics and stylistics until nowadays.
Such an approach increases the objectivity of the scientific findings in
this area and enriches the overall text analysis with extra details and
more meanings disclosed. The paper gives an overview of the theory of
foregrounding, emphasizing the role it plays in text analysis and stylistics of
decoding, and illustrates its principles with examples of practical analysis of
the text conducted by the author of the paper.