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By Paul Lennon

This corpus-based research of allusions within the British press exhibits the variety of ambitions reporters allude to - from Shakespeare to television soaps, from Jane Austen to Hillary Clinton, from hymns to nursery rhymes, proverbs and riddles. It analyzes the linguistic varieties allusions take and demonstrates how allusions functionality meaningfully in discourse. It explores the character of the history cultural and intertextual wisdom allusions call for of readers and units out the processing phases fascinated by knowing an allusion. Allusion is built-in into present theories of oblique language and associated with idioms, wordplay and metaphor.

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Oil floats on water”), based on physical laws, to knowledge that is more or less culturally specific knowledge, for example that railway stations have a left luggage office (in many countries), that “auntie” is used as a reference to the BBC (in Britain) (Lindemann 1989: 53). Belief systems differ from the knowledge types mentioned so far in that they are subjective and need not correspond to reality. This class includes stereotypes, prejudices and clichés (Lindemann 1989: 56). Transitory knowledge relates to passing features of culture, fashions and fads, slang and zeitgeist (Lindemann 1989: 61).

He suggested the Meaning and context 25 device of academic citation, as in, for example, “Lemke (1985: 281)”, is an intertextual parallel to the establishment of grammatical coherence within a text. Intertextual thematic relations, on the other hand, are established by means of echo, which Lemke (1985: 281) likens to lexical cohesion relations within a text. Lemke (1985: 291) distinguished a scale from weakly foregrounded intertextual relations of register (Reid 1956), which depend solely on thematic (multivariate) links between texts, to more strongly foregrounded forms, which also depend on explicit (covariate) links, a highly explicit link being the device of academic citation, mentioned above, which identifies a single source.

On the one hand, writers write with Background knowledge of newspaper readers 31 a target audience in mind, and, on the other hand, in making inferences readers will be guided by their beliefs concerning their knowledge of the writer (Clark 1978: 296). Dialogue is conducted on at least two levels, a transactional level (content) and an interpersonal level (Clark 1996: 252). In written communication the only trace of the writer’s persona is in the text. Part of background or contextual knowledge is knowledge of other texts (de Beaugrande and Dressler 1981: 182, 206).

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