A text-world account of temporal world-building strategies in Spanish and English

Jane Lugea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Text World Theory (Werth 1999; Gavins 2007) is a cognitive stylistic model that aims to describe how discourse participants create a mental representation of language in use. First designed for the analysis of individual texts, this chapter demonstrates how it can also be used in the cross-linguistic analysis of narrative strategies. This chapter is based on a wider research project which applied Text World Theory to a comparable corpus of ‘frog story’ narratives revealing differences between the ways in which Spanish and English speakers construct the ‘same’ narrative text-world. The focus here is on the narrators’ temporal world-­building strategies only, as choices in tense were fundamental in laying the foundations for other world-building strategies. The results reveal interesting cross-­linguistic and dialectal differences in temporal world-building strategies and point to uses of tenses for non-temporal means.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring Discourse Strategies in Social and Cognitive Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationMultimodal and Cross-linguistic Perspectives
EditorsManuela Romano, Maria Dolores Porto
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9789027267221
ISBN (Print)9789027256676
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePragmatics and Beyond
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISSN (Print)0922-842X


Cite this

Lugea, J. (2016). A text-world account of temporal world-building strategies in Spanish and English. In M. Romano, & M. D. Porto (Eds.), Exploring Discourse Strategies in Social and Cognitive Interaction: Multimodal and Cross-linguistic Perspectives (pp. 245-272). (Pragmatics and Beyond; Vol. 262). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.262.10lug