How I Became a Cognitive Narratologist: Fludernik’s Towards a ‘Natural’ Narratology

Fludernik’s study was eye-opening for me, not least because it was the first time that I encountered post-classical narratology. I was astonished by how confidently and carefully she developed her own theoretical approach; I was intrigued by her use of cognitive theories and the combination of linguistic, cognitive, and literary theories; and I was delighted to read her analyses of English medieval and early modern narratives, which she sets in relation to later developments in narrative forms and functions.

Emphasis: A Cognitive Figure in Ancient Rhetoric

“Emphasis” (emphasis]; significatio) is an ancient rhetorical figure that heightens audience participation through strategic ambiguity, polysemy, or otherwise opaque sentence construction. Through careful diction, the writer/speaker directs audience members to a latent meaning, hidden within a seemingly innocuous phrase. Far from mere ornamentation, this figure fundamentally increases persuasive power through narrative engagement, while also providing the writer or speaker plausible deniability.