Vernacular Narratives: A Case Study of Stylistic Analysis of Students’ Written Stories


  • Jana Pelclová Masaryk University



Labov, narrative framework, homodiegetic, heterodiegetic, written stories, vernacular


The paper studies the applicability of Labov’s narrative framework and its six categories to vernacular written narratives. The objective is to compare the narratives provided by both homodiegetic and heterodiegetic narrators in terms of Labov’s narrative organization. The material under investigation is represented by students’ stories that were created in the course Introduction to Stylistics in Spring, 2012. The differences between the communicative situations in which oral and written narratives are embedded are taken into consideration in order to provide a valuable comparison. The paper mainly draws upon the importance and narrative functionality that the Labovian categories are expected to have or lack in ordinary narratives provided by the medium of written language. The paper concludes with the following findings: the abstract and the coda are interdiscursive categories since they function as cohesive devices that delimit the narrative discourse within the non-narrative discourse, regardless of the narrative medium and the communicative situation. The orientation and the evaluation are as important as the complicating action and the resolution for designing a narrative, since they can increase the point of tellability. This is supported by the finding that these two categories were the most elaborated ones in the heterodiegetic versions of the students’ narratives.