Fictional Names, Parafictional Statements and Moves Across the Border (Discussion With François Recanati)


narrative fiction
fictional names
parafictional statements
mixed discourse



The paper focuses on fictional discourse, discourse about fiction and dynamic relations between them. The immediate impulse came from François Recanati and his recent analysis of parafictional statements (performed by uttering sentences like “in Conan Doyle’s stories, Sherlock Holmes is a detective who solves mysteries”). Confrontation of basic theoretical assumptions concerning functions of fictionals names, status of fictional characters, the role of pretence, etc. (Sections 1 and 2) results in an alter¬native analysis: unlike Recanati’s version, it does not assume the switch to the mode of pretence as an ineliminable part of parafictional statements (3, 4). The author’s aim is not to replace one analysis by its rival but to show that the same sentence can be used not only to perform various functions, but also to perform the same (here: parafictional) function in various ways—and generally to demonstrate the variety of language games going on in this sphere (5). Special attention is paid to their specific dynamics, including fluctuation between “serious” and fictional mode of speech and re-evaluations of the status of previous utterances, serving to preserve the continuity of conversation or restore it on a new basis (6).



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