Language and Creativity
The Art of Common Talk
Routledge – 2004 – 272 pages
Language and Creativity explores the creativity inherent in everyday spoken language.
Creativity in language has conventionally been regarded as the preserve of institutionalised discourses such as canonical literature and the discourse of advertising. In Language and Creativity Ronald Carter analyses naturally-occurring spoken language to reveal that ordinary people in everyday speech contexts demonstrate creative capacities for sensitivity to their contexts. Illustrated with examples, and integrating current theory in both language and literature studies, the book underlines the importance of the creative choice, automaticity and repetition which is involved in informal communication.
'Reading this volume gives the same pleasure as dipping into a reference book on where words come from. It is fascinating and full of background interest … It is an intriguing study, delving into how human beings use language and how every one of us is creative with it.' – ESB
'The strength of this book is that Carter uses "real" evidence, transcriptions of conversations from the Cancode corpus, a 5-million-word computerised database that includes recordings from a variety of settings in the UK and Ireland. This broad-ranging approach makes the book a useful consciousness-raising exercise for beginner students.' – Jean Aitchison, The Times Higher Education Supplement
'The book is a valuable new intervention which should be considered by all applied linguists for both the detail of its analyses and the larger questions it opens up.' – BaaL News
Ronald Carter is Professor of Modern English Language in the School of English Studies, University of Nottingham.