Foregrounding through Lexical Deviation: A Corpus-Based Analysis of Yousafi’s Aab-e-Gum
Keywords:corpus-based, deviation, foregrounding, lexical, linguistic level
This paper provides a corpus-based analysis of lexical deviation as a foregrounding technique in Yousafi’s prose fiction Aab-e-Gum. The use of unusual and uncommon language imparts a strong impression on the readers’ minds. This distinguished use of language diverges from the literary conventions maintaining a dominant structure in a text (Leech, 1969) and is known as deviation. The theoretical and conceptual grounds for this work are Ross' (1998) structural incongruity theory and Leech and Short's (2007) conceptions of deviation in literary texts. The corpus for this research is the Urdu text Aab-e-Gum. The data is tagged using the UAM Corpus tool (UAMCT3). The system is used to manually tag all occurrences of deviation across various linguistic levels and sub-levels in the first stage. The more frequent lexical divergence is investigated in the second stage. It is discovered that the author used lexical variation as a foregrounding strategy to create novel Urdu terms. His use of lexical variation serves to both heighten the event being portrayed and to entertain the audience. Future work on different linguistic levels can be done in depth. This study is a first step in assisting linguistic researchers working on the Urdu language.