Introspective discourse and the poetics of subjective experience

Robin Wooffitt, Nicola Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines poetic phenomena—rhymes, alliteration, puns—that appear in the introspective reports of people who have taken part in a psychology experiment. We argue that these phenomena are a form of discourse poetics identified in conversational data by Sacks and subsequently discussed by Jefferson, among others. We extend earlier research, first, to identify how the organization of these introspective narratives facilitates a range of poetic and rhetorical forms more commonly associated with the study of classical literary and religious texts; and second, to provide evidence that these poetic forms are not happenstance but are pragmatic achievements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-156
Number of pages22
JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

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