Kelly Presentation 2016

The Problems of Prolepsis

Currently the Cognitive Ontology of Rhetorical Figures does not systematically include nebulous rhetorical figures, such as the figure known as prolepsis (forecasting and countering an argument before it has been offered). While great gains have been made with those rhetorical figures we often call schemes (figures dependent upon relatively tight lexical or syntactic structures or pairings) in the ontology project at UWaterloo, the failure to incorporate the broader range of rhetorical figures raises many questions of the nature of these figures and their historical inclusion in handbooks and other catalogues of devices. These figures do indeed follow many of the same processes of their more formalized kin, but in an effort to investigate these alignments, numerous obstacles must be overcome. My work is an attempt to integrate less formalized figures by charting prolepsis in ontological terms, chiefly in terms of information structure and the classical canon of arrangement.

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