Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number2 June 2021                                          Pp. 457-468

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Literary Characters and their Verbal Mimicry through the Prism of Gestalt Analysis 

Iryna Morozova
Department of English Grammar
Odesa Mechnikov National University
Odesa, Ukraine
Corresponding Author:

Olena Pozharytska
Department of English Grammar
Odesa Mechnikov National University,
Odesa, Ukraine

Received: 1/13/2021               Accepted: 6/18/2021               Published: 6/26/2021


The paper represents a fragment of a multi-year project focused on everyday speech interaction and, particularly, on verbal mechanisms of granting speech efficiency and effectiveness. The introductory statement of the research is more precise thespeaker organizes his/her message verbally, the easier it is understood by the listener. Special attention is paid to the methodological approach to verbal identification of literary characters’ social strata. The paper also elicits how Gestalt analysis can be successfully applied to different practical linguistic tasks. Hence, the article deals with the advantages of Gestalt, used for unmasking the virtual speaker’s social identity and his social status.  Besides, a close study of speech situations has revealed some cases when the speaker tries to play a verbal trick on the audience, thus consciously or unconsciously imposing a false image and hiding his/her true identity. The phenomenon of speech imposters, discovered in literary dialogues termed “speech, or verbal mimicry,” while the speakers who use such verbal masks are called “mimics.”  In the presented research, two types of mimicry are distinguished: progressive and regressive speech mimicry. Hence, the characters’ speech was analyzed through the prism of his/her actual or imposed social status, which allowed to single out sufficiently reliable syntactic indicators of the speaker’s real social profile.
Keywords: Gestalt analysis, literary dialogue, syntactic indicators, verbal/speech mimicry, virtual identity

Cite as:  Morozova, I. & Pozharytska, O.  (2021). Literary Characters and their Verbal Mimicry through the Prism of Gestalt Analysis.
Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 457-468.


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Received: 1/13/2021  
Accepted: 6/18/2021
Published: 6/24/2021 

Iryna B. Morozova (Doctor of Philology, Full Professor, Odesa Mechnikov National University, Ukraine) was the first in Ukraine to suggest applying the Gestalt theory to linguistic studies. She has authored four monographs, four manuals, altogether 150 papers, among them: Gestalt Analysis as a Means of Language Personality Identification (2013), Handsome is as handsome speaks (2015), Compliments as a specific methodological approach of optimizing the process of teaching foreign languages (2019), etc.

Olena Pozharytska (PhD in Linguistics, Associate Professor, Odesa Mechnikov National University, Ukraine) dedicated a lot of her papers to analysing the literary semantics of “western” novels (e.g., Speaking like a good guy: Speech Carnivalisation Algorithm, 2015). Today, her scientific interests are mostly focused on digital discourse and ludonarrative studies.