|binary oppositions A basic analytical tool of linguistics and structuralism. Founded on the assumption that language is a differential structure of signs and that the most basic distinction is binary (e.g. good-bad, right-wrong, yes-no, etc.); and extended as a method of analysing the way in which texts, ideologies and modes of perceptions are structured. See chapter 6, pp. 189-91.|
|blank verse The iambic pentameter without rhyme. The basic verse form of sixteenth-seventeeth-century drama (see chapter 2, pp. 31-40 on 'Shakespeare'), which became an accepted non-dramatic form only after Milton's precedent in Paradise Lost (see chapter 3, pp. 76-85).|
|cognitive-conventional The cognitive dimension of language refers to our most fundamental level of comprehension (a.k.a. linguistic competence). The term can only be properly understood in relation to its opposing conventional dimension. For example, when we read and understand the statement, 'I am Richard', we generally focus upon its signifying structure as pronoun, verb and name (cognitive) but if a statement has a prominent rhythmic pattern, uses rhyme or alliteration, or is divided typographically into distinct lines, we are also obliged to take into account its conventional structure, i.e. those elements that are self-evidently poetic. See S.R. Levin's 'The Conventions of Poetry' (1971), and Chapter 1, pp. 15-16. |
See also the 'double pattern' and the 'sliding scale'.