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dc.contributor.advisorAckerley, Chris
dc.contributor.advisorSong, Jaejung
dc.contributor.authorPang, Kam-yiu S.en_NZ
dc.identifier.citationPang, K. S. (2006). A partitioned narrative model of the self : its linguistic manifestations, entailments, and ramifications (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractContrary to common folk and expert theory, the human self is not unitary. There is no Cartesian theatre or homunculus functioning as a metaphorical overlord. Rather, it is an abstractum gleaned from a person's experiences-a centre of narrative gravity (Dennett 1991). Experiences are a person's cognisance of her ventures in life from a particular unique perspective. In perspectivising her experiences, the person imputes a certain structure, order, and significance to them. Events are seen as unfolding in a certain inherently and internally coherent way characterised by causality, temporality, or intentionality, etc. In other words, a person's self emerges out of her innumerable narrativisations of experience, as well as the different protagonist roles she plays in them. Her behaviours in different situations can be understood as different life-narratives being foregrounded, when she is faced with different stimuli different experiences/events present. In real life, self-reflective discourse frequently alludes to a divided, partitive self, and the experiences/behaviours that it can engage in. In academic study, this concept of the divided and narrative-constructivist self is well-represented in disciplines ranging from philosophy (e.g., Dennett 1991, 2005), developmental psychology (e.g., Markus Nurius 1986; Bruner 1990, 2001; Stern 1994), cognitive psychology (e.g., Hermans Kempen 1993; Hermans 2002), neuropsychology (e.g. Damasio 1999), psychiatry (e.g., Feinberg 2001), to linguistics (e.g., McNeil 1996; Ochs Capps 1996; Nair 2003). Depending on the particular theory, however, emphasis is often placed either on its divided or its narrative-constructivist nature. This thesis argues, however, that the two are coexistent and interdependent, and both are essential to the self's ontology. Its objectives are therefore: (i) to propose a partitioned-narrative model of the self which unifies the two perspectives by positing that the partitioned-representational (Dinsmore 1991) nature of narratives entails the partitioned structure of the self; and (ii) to propose that the partitioned-narrative ontology of the self is what enables and motivates much of our self-reflective discourse and the grammatical resources for constructing that discourse. Partitioning guarantees that a part of the self, i.e., one of its narratives, can be selectively attended to, foregrounded, objectified, and hence talked about. Narrativity provides the contextual guidance and constraints for meaning-construction in such discourse. This claim is substantiated with three application cases: the use of anaphoric reflexives (I found myself smiling); various usages of proper names, including eponyms (the Shakespeare of architecture), eponymic denominal adjectives (a Herculean effort), etc.; and partitive-self constructions which explicitly profile partitioned and selectively focal narratives (That's his hormones talking). When analysed using the proposed model, these apparently disparate behaviours turn out to share a common basis: the partitioned-narrative self.en_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Otagoen_NZ
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dc.subjectnarrative discourse analysisen_NZ
dc.titleA partitioned narrative model of the self : its linguistic manifestations, entailments, and ramificationsen_NZ
dc.typeThesisen_NZ of Englishen_NZ of Philosophyen_NZ of Otagoen_NZ Thesesen_NZ
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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