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Title: A theory of zeugma
Authors: Yeo, Jia Qi
Keywords: Humanities::Linguistics::Semantics
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Yeo, J. Q. (2021). A theory of zeugma. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Although previous definitions of the semantic phenomenon of zeugma have been numerous, their approach has been to rely on accompanying examples instead of pinpointing innate characteristics. This has produced inconsistency and a tendency to regard zeugma as necessarily anomalous or infelicitous, ignoring instances where zeugma is highly effective in context. To account for the latter, I choose to describe zeugma from the outset as a rhetorical device which is non-spontaneous and carefully constructed. I then identify basic structures for the three subtypes of nominal, verbal and adjectival zeugma, and consolidate several disparate concepts previously mentioned in relation to zeugma, including homonymy, regular and irregular polysemy, and Segmented Discourse Representation Theory. I also consider the siting of elegant zeugma within its surrounding written discourse as a crucial complement to the usual approach of analysing word relations within the utterance. I conclude by providing a comprehensive definition of zeugma comprising four obligatory conditions, two additional characteristics it almost always fulfils when used effectively in practice, two distinguishing tests, and four potential influences that can diminish or enhance the zeugmatic effect. Supported by many original additions to previously dissected examples, my definition provides an encompassing theory of zeugma.
Schools: School of Humanities 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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