contractions of speech
Posted by Caroline on December 22, 1997 at 22:15:12:
In response to Two Questions, written by Marie Bernadette on December 21, 1997 at 14:49:16
Second question: I was recently told not to use contractions in the speech of my characters. I noticed that JA's characters do not speak in contractions, but other modern novels about that time period do use contractions.
Have you looked at novels by her contemporaries, like those of Fanny Burney, Sir Walter Scott, Ann Radcliffe, Horace Walpole(alright, he's not exactly contemporary....)? How do they use contractions?
Also, would the use of contractions be according to class or dialect? For example, would my educated characters speak more formally, but the lower class people speak with contractions?
Again, try contemporaries....Sir Walter has some great dialectical speech.
Does it depend on the type of conversation and with whom one is conversing?
Maybe. I notice that Jane Eyre uses contractions when talking to Mrs Fairfax but not to Mr R.
This is an interesting question. JA, as far as I know, never lets her servant characters use direct speech. Perhaps, after reading around a bit, you could let us know what you find out!
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