Relevance in Arthur Miller's drama "Death of a Salesman": a study of language use based on Sperber and Wilson's tehory of relevance / Adriansyah A. Katili

Adriansyah A. Katili (2009) Relevance in Arthur Miller's drama "Death of a Salesman": a study of language use based on Sperber and Wilson's tehory of relevance / Adriansyah A. Katili. Masters thesis, Universitas Negeri Malang.

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Abstract

This study is an effort to analyze Arthur MilerÔÇÖs drama Death of a Salesman based on Sperber and WilsonÔÇÖs theory of Relevance. The drama is chosen based on the information that it is an American Great Tragedy that received the Pulitzer Prize awarded by the Columbia University. However, the awarding is based on the thematic aspect of the drama, while the language use as the mean of communication in drama is ignored. In other words, there is a gap between the literature and linguistics. Hence, this research is also aimed at bridging the gap between literature and linguistics. The Theory of Relevance that is proposed by Sperber and Wilson is chosen for this analysis. The theory proposes that the language is used to communicate a message and the meaning is categorized into three sets o meaning, i.e. explicature, higher level explicature, and implicature. The method applied is qualitative research that is designed in content analysis at the level of pragmatics. The data resource is the drama script entitled Death of a salesman written by Arthur Miller. The research is directed to answer three research questions, i.e. (1) What is the nature of the explicature, higher level explicature, and implicature in drama Death of a Salesman?; (2) How does the playwright create the explicature, higher level explicature, and implicature?; (3) What is the literary significance of the relevance analysis on Death of a Salesman? In this research it is found that there are 208 utterances that may be categorized into the three sets of meaning. The higher level explicature dominates the drama script. Its frequency is 79 or 38 %. While the explicature takes the second place; there are 73 utterances or 35 % of the total sum of the utterances. While the implicature takes the third place; there are 56 utterances belong to this set and so 28 % of the total sum of the utterances. In terms of explicature, it is found that there are 73 utterances that explicate the meanings. Sixty five of them or 89 % are in the form of declarative and three utterances or four percents are in elliptical sentences. Four of the utterances or five percents are in interrogative sentences; and one uterance or one percent is imperative. In terms of higher level explicature, it is found that the characters expressed various propositional attitudes, i.e. sadness, anger, pride, motivating, begging for information, assertion, and hope. It is found that the total sum of the attitudes is 79. There are three propositional attitudes that dominate this set of meaning, i.e. anger (29 %), directive (16 %), and pride (10%). In this analysis it is found that there are 56 utterances that belong to implicature. Thirty or fifty four percents of them are in declarative sentences, 13 utterances or 23% are in metaphors, ten or seventeen percents of them are in interrogative sentences, one or one percent is in the form of irony, one or one percent is imperative, and one or one percent is elliptical. The above data indicate that the declarative dominates the implicature. In implicature, metaphor occurs very frequently. Twenty three percents of the utterances are metaphoric. The playwright creates the explicature, higher level explicature, and implicature in two steps. The first step is creating the context and the second one is creating the utterances in various forms, i.e. declarative, imperatives, interrogatives, elliptical, metaphor, and irony. The combination of the two steps results in the relevance in the dialogue is optimal in the sense that the reader may infer them optimally. In terms of relevance degree, it is found that the playwright is optimally relevant in creating the explicature, higher level explicature, and implicature. He combines the use of language and context that may reduce the readersÔÇÖ effort to interpret the most relevant meaning in the three sets of meaning. The only less relevant use of language is in data 57. The context that the playwright has provided does not help the reader to infer the meaning of LindaÔÇÖs utterance, ÔÇ£We are free,ÔÇØ in the grave after WillyÔÇÖs burial. There are literary significances of this analysis. First, the domination of higher level explicature that expresses the charactersÔÇÖ propositional attitude indicates that language in drama is primarily functioned to express the speakersÔÇÖ ideas, emotion, and desires. The higher level explicature is dominated by three attitudes. It is arranged by the playwright to reveal the conflict between the characters. Second, the frequency of explicature which is higher than the implicature is arranged by the playwright in order to be more relevant to the reader because explicature has a stronger effect than the implicature. It is also to show that the Lomans have a strong in-group identity. Third, the domination of declarative is to help the reader to infer the utterances easily. Fourth, the use of metaphor is to create the strong implicature by building the image in the readersÔÇÖ minds.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Fakultas Sastra (FS) > Jurusan Sastra Inggris (ING) > S2 Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris
Depositing User: Users 2 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2009 04:29
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2009 03:00
URI: http://repository.um.ac.id/id/eprint/58338

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