Lying as a Parallax Stance




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In this paper, an attempt is made to look at the phenomenon of lying from a dynamic perspective. First a few classic definitions of lying are considered and found to be inadequate due to the methodological assumption characteristic of the static style of thinking which postulates that lying is a stable mental entity that is formed in mind and afterwards projected into discourse with the help of linguistic signs. An alternative approach to lying, which is underpinned with the dynamic style of thinking, posits that lying is a discourse formation which emerges in the joint effort of communicants and is contextually sensitive and labile. It is shown that lying is a specific form of stance, the latter being treated in the spirit of J. Du Bois as a linguistically articulated form of social action whose meaning is construed within the broader scope of language, interaction, and sociocultural value. Rather than catalogue the features of lying, the dynamic approach focuses on the general structure of evaluative, positioning and alignment processes which organize the enactment of lying in discourse. These processes are further brought together in the parallax model of lying, parallax being interpreted after S. Žižek as an apparent change in the nature of the object resulting from the change of the observer’s viewpoint


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lying, dynamic approach, stance, parallax

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