Thursday, March 21, 2013


Foreground is a term usually used in art, having opposite meaning to background. Foregrounding may happen in normal, daily language, such as verbal discourse or journalistic prose, but it happens at random with no systematic design. But in literary texts, on the other hand, foregrounding is structured. The immediate effect of foregrounding is to make strange to achieve defamiliarisation. When used poetically, terms and groups of words remind a greater richness of images and feelings than if they were to occur in a talkative expression.
"Foregrounding" means "to bring to the front." The term foregrounding has its origin with the Czech theorist Jan Mukarovsky. It refers to the range of stylistic effects that occur in literature, whether at the phonetic level e.g., alliteration, rhyme, the grammatical level e.g., inversion, abbreviation, or the semantic level e.g., metaphor, irony.
The most common means employed by the writers is replication. Our attention is immediately captivated by the repetition of the sounds of certain words or by the words they and we begin to analyze the reasons why the writer is repeating this particular sound or word. In the tongue twister, "she sells sea shells on the sea shore" it is plain that 'S' and 'Sh' are foregrounded for their euphonic effect.
Verdonk states that foregrounding is the psychological effect a literary reader has as s/he is reading a work of literature. It is generally used to highlight significant parts of a text, to aid memo capacity and or to invite explanation. In foregrounding the writer uses the sounds of words or the words themselves in such a way that the readers' attention is immediately captivated.

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