Morphological Deviation as a Stylistic Marker in E.E. Cumming's Poetry
Journal of Al-qadisiya in arts and educational sciense,
2008, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 76-85
AbstractE.E. Cummings's poetry represents an irresistible challenge for linguists who are interested in describing and analysing the aesthetic use of language. He is one of the poets who are often sensitive to the productive properties of morphemes, in other words, he utilizes creativity by producing new words for saturating their aims.(Falk, 1978: 35)Deviant morphology is not merely a minor element of his poetic technique. On the contrary, almost every one of his poems contains marks of such a technique. Readers' understanding of Cummings's art would be greatly enhanced if those readers could understand the machinery behind this deviant technique.The words that Cummings deviantly coins are central vehicles of his poetic message. The present paper is intended to manifest a precise theoretical account of the process involved when a reader encounters a word formed by the deviant use of a morphological process. It may help the reader to use his grammatical competence to arrive at an acceptable reading of the deviant form. Moreover, it sheds light on a range of morphological processes which Cummings violates. Each section illustrates the theory of deviation in specifying the distribution and use of the relevant form in the standard usage, the distribution and use of the forms in Cummings's poetry and the semantic effect of the deviant forms in Cummings's poetic message.Cummings's deviant forms are provided in their poetic contexts in order to substantiate the paper with authentic evidence and familiarize the reader with the mechanism of morphological deviation in Cummings's poetry. References are supplied to page numbers in Harcourt, Brace and Jovanvich's Comlpete Poems: 1913-1963 for each word discussed, for instance, unanimal (620) of this edition of Cummings's poems.
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