An Analysis of Meaning Transformation of Rhetorical Figures of Ambiguity from Linguistic Perspectives
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Ambiguity has been the point of difference between scholars in linguistics and those in literary rhetoric from long ago, and there are various theories in this regard; however, no serious attempt has been made to clarify how ambiguity is signified in this rhetorical category and to represent how it can be employed based on human unconscious. Previous research seems to have addressed a unique but superficial definition for ambiguity offering some examples. In this paper, the position of equivocal figures as a system of semiotics was studied with reference to decoding of aesthetics. Moreover, the study investigated the nature of communication techniques and how words signified meaning in the semiotic science. The present study, initially, addressed the understanding of rhetorical figures of ambiguity and the domains of its meanings; furthermore, it investigated the artistic and aesthetic values of rhetorical figures of ambiguity. Having confirmed the rising of the norms for meaning representation in rhetorical figures, the researchers employed the framework of decoding in semiotics to analyze ambiguity. Most literary scholars and literary critics agree unanimously that ambiguity deserves to be taken into consideration as a rhetoric trick with aesthetic value. However, so far, researchers have just contented themselves with superficial definitions of ambiguity which are not satisfactory. Therefore, it is important and necessary to analyze ambiguity deeply and more systematically.
Ambiguity or ambiguity is one of the most practical figures in rhetoric knowledge which deals with the spread of meaning in speech. Ambiguity (creating illusion and making supposition) or ambiguity (speaking unclearly and indirectly) is a way of interpretation since it is represented in a word including two meaning: one which is clear as it is the denotative meaning of the word and the other which is hidden in the word (Hamooy, 2005; Syooti, 2000; Matloob, 2000). Speech is the most fundamental and important tool in expressing thought, and it is the cornerstone of the emergence of human worldview. Ambiguity challenges human mind and imagination and makes him think about the intended meaning of the speaker. This psychological state makes speech attractive, and the reader can comprehend the equivocal ornaments when he is aware of the different meanings of words and expressions. The purpose of the speaker’s meaning is the speech that carries a message and conveys a meaning that is inherently a structure. Of the relevant issues that are germane to the issue of the present study is the function of word when there is more than one meaning and this has been the point of difference among scholars (Tayeb Hosseini, 2008). Literature benefits from creating multiple significations, as the natural abilities of language, and it represents ambiguity. It can be said that any type of ambiguity includes multiple significations, but any multiple signification does not mean ambiguity. In any particular literary works, we can create to an imaginative image of reality by means of signs. What is important in this type of communication is the conveyance of internal and personal experience, and other communicative signs help linguistic signs in conveying internal experience and aesthetic sense.
A word does not consist of multiple significations just because of having multiple concepts, even if it has the potentiality for multiple significations. The real multiple signification emerges provided that a particular relation is established between the concepts and this happens in occasions that the word or sentence is, firstly, positioned in linguistic context (or paralinguistic context) and secondly, multiple meanings can be considered for it based on the context. Scholars in rhetoric science in Islam have expanded the discussion of form and meaning with the titles of word and meaning, and among this expertise in literature, some authenticate words, others authenticate meaning, and yet others authenticate both of them. The present paper focuses on the theories and voices of one of the eminent figures named Jacques Lacan (1989) who is a physician, psychoanalyst, and philosopher does not believe that there is no meaning. He (1989) believes that there may be many signifieds for a signifier; therefore, it would be useless to search for one single meaning, and the more we search for meaning, the less we can get to it. As a result, Lacan (1989) does not believe in the lack of meaning, but he believes in the existence of multiple meanings that can be confusing and his idea challenges the attempts made by the analysts to delve into the text (Clement, 1983). Another issue that should be analyzed is the way poets and writers deal with language categories. Poets deal with language differently. Some choose to utilize words with the existing clichés and accepted meanings of them, others try to avoid that, and yet others go beyond that. Avoiding the use of accepted meanings of words needs devices and tools and ambiguity is one of the most important tools for fulfilling this aim. As many different meanings can be understood from a word if writers employ ambiguity, ambiguity is used to a great extent and it provides writers with the necessary tool. A complicated form of signification exists in which the relationship between the sign and its meaning is even more indirect. Ambiguity belongs to this category. At this level, the meanings of words and signs are associated with the hidden meanings indirectly and the meaning is far from the sign or the form, and it is independent of the sign or the form (Sadowski, 2001).
If we want to study ambiguity only with reference to the definitions provided by the predecessors in rhetoric books, we have to mention that ambiguity, in either words or in meaning, doesn’t bring a single meaning to the mind of the reader. We cannot decide which meaning comes to the mind of the reader. Moreover, there are ample cases in which we cannot prefer one meaning to another in principle, but there are various reasons that may influence the meaning, and the mind of the reader has a fundamental role in meaning-making. The more the addressee is familiar with the various meanings, the more he can appreciate the employed ambiguity. That is the reason why the definition of this figure has been proposed and attempts have been made to get familiar with it. This will the reader in terms of vocabulary and awareness and will assist them in understanding the text (Mortezaee, 2014). All great poets, at one point in their literary lives, have unconsciously followed the accepted language norms at some period of time. They have been able to cope with this issue by means of gaining knowledge and literary insight and getting access to expertise in the domain of linguistics. This has enabled them to coin new words and use language creatively. Gaining expertise in the field could help in understanding meaning and responding to the signs. This ability is accessible to those who possess interpretive systems which are equipped with the power of information processing. Indeed, at this level, the physical signs become the semiotic signs, and the association between the meaning and the sign becomes the evidence for proximity, analogy or arbitrariness. Aesthetic decoding which is more pertinent to the given category of the present paper, i.e. ambiguity, can be employed to express the internal feelings and the whole mental experiences of human facing reality; therefore, aesthetic signs are the images of reality.
Language and Translation Studies, Volume:50 Issue: 4, 2018
113 - 137  
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