This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of the fluent, coherent, and complete nature of character-speech in Homer. It then introduces the means by which this discourse will be examined: discourse analysis, conversation analysis, cognitive psychology (which provides a framework for studying ‘scripted’ routines, both behavioural scripts and, as argued here, verbal scripts), and sociolinguistics (especially on the question of language and gender). Finally, there is some discussion of non-verbal signals, to which verbal communication often responds, and on which it is very often dependent.
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