AL- Kufa University College of Education English Department Teacher assistant:- Haider Gabr MA. English.
I. A. Richard The four kinds of meaningGeneral Information About the Author:-Ivor Armstrong Richard (1893) is one of the major critics of the twentieth century. He is the pioneer of the new Criticism. He is supported to be the most influential theorist of the modern age. He is particularly interested in psychology. It is with him that the scientific psychology enters the field of literary criticism. I. A. Richard is an advanced of a close textual and verbal study and analysis of a work art. Principles of Literary Criticism, Practical Criticism and Coleridge on Imagination are some of his important critical works.
The four kinds of Meaning is the essay which forms the first chapter of the third part of Richards’ work The Practical Criticism. As the title shows the essay deals with four types of meaning which are also functions of language.
In The four kinds of Meaning . I. A. Richard speaks about the four types of meaning of words. He also calls them the function of language.
According to Richard, the important fact about the study of literature is that there several contributory meaning of different types. Language, particularly that of poetry, has several function to perform simultaneously. Of the many, four types of functions are noteworthy . They can be explained as fellows:-
1) Sense: According to the first function of language is Sense. Richard means something that is communicated by the plain literal meaning of the word. The speaker speaks to communicates something and the listener expects something to be said or communicate. Words are used to present to the listener some items for consideration. They are also used to excite in the listeners some thought about these items.
2) Feeling: The second kind of meaning is Feeling. It refers to emotions, emotional attitudes, will, desire, pleasure, un-pleasure and the like. When the speaker speaks something, he has a feeling about it. He uses language to express such feeling which are “nuances of interest.”
3) Tone: the third kind of meaning is tone. It means the writers’ attitude to his reader. The writer chooses his words and arrange them keeping in mind the kind of readers who are likely to read his work. There is a kind of relation between the writer and the reader. “Tone” reflect the awareness of his relation
4) Intention: The fourth kind of meaning is intention which means the aim of the writer. It may be conscious or unconscious. It refers to the effect one tries to produce. It modifies the speaker’s expression. It controls the emphasis and shapes the arrangements. It draws attention to something which has importance. It has special importance in dramatic and semi-dramatic litreture.
According to Richard, sometimes, the shift of the above function is noticed. Different functions will prove to be predominant in deferent situation. For example in a scientific treatise, “sense” will predominant , while in political speeches, intention becomes more important. In the same way, in poetry, feeling will become more dominant.