dialogue

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dialogue

1 (often US), dialog
1. the lines spoken by characters in drama or fiction
2. a particular passage of conversation in a literary or dramatic work
3. a literary composition in the form of a dialogue
4. a political discussion between representatives of two nations or groups

dialogue

2, dialog box
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Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dialogue

 

(1) A type of speech characterized by the situation (dependence on the circumstances of the conversation), the context (conditioned by preceding utterances), nonarbitrariness, and to a slight degree, by its organization (not planned ahead of time). Dialogue may be contrasted with monologue.

(2) A functional variety of language that is realized in direct communication between the conversationalists and that consists of a sequential alternation of stimulating and reacting utterances. Among the principal linguistic characteristics of dialogue are abundant interrogatory and arousing sentences among the stimulating utterances, repetition and reinterrogations in the reacting utterances, and syntactical incompleteness of the reacting utterances, compensated for at the expense of the previous utterance. Compare the interrogatory utterances: “But how should I know?” “But do I know?” and “Why should I know?” All of these are equivalent to the negative answer “I don’t know.”

Literature and the theater. The characteristics of artistically treated dialogue are connected with the type and genre of the art form. In epic prose the dialogue is directly related to the author’s speech, moving and controlling the narration, and often accompanied by the author’s descriptive or evaluating commentary. Prose did not immediately attain an organic merger of narration and dialogue. The latter was initially wedged into the author’s speech in the form of dramatized fragments (for example, in 18th-century Russian prose, N. M. Karamzin’s novella Natalia, the Boyar’s Daughter).

The 19th-century realists mastered the methods of the natural inclusion of dialogue into the narrative. In their works dialogue, as well as the author’s descriptions, acquired a very important role in the depiction of characters, and expressiveness and elements of social and individual color were widely introduced into it. In F. M. Dostoevsky’s novels, dialogue has a special structural and ideological significance as a means by which a character reveals himself (see M. Bakhtin, Problemy poetiki Dostoevskogo, 1963). In 20th-century prose E. Hemingway created a new form of poetically taut dialogue with a certain degree of stylization and a stress on the implication of the utterances.

In drama, dialogue is the basic means of depicting the characters and developing the plot. It is distinguished from dialogue in prose by the necessary quality of action, purposeful explication of the conflicting relations among the characters, and orientation to oral, stage presentation. Dramatic dialogue (in addition to stage directions) assumes the descriptive and explanatory functions of the author’s speech. As drama developed, dialogue attained the predominant place as opposed to monologue, which had dominated the structure of the ancient tragedies. Essentially, the structure of dialogue changed from the “dialogue-like monologues” spoken by the heroes of classical plays. It became increasingly natural and was saturated with an unspoken “theme underneath the text,” which moved the action. In A. P. Chekhov’s plays the dialogue is enriched by a series of lyrical themes that unite the utterances internally. Dialogue as a means of developing dramatic action is the basis of theatrical art.

“Dialogue” also refers to an independent literary-publicistic genre that was already developed in antiquity (Plato’s philosophical dialogues and Lucian’s satirical dialogues), and later during the Reformation and the Enlightenment (for example, Diderot’s Le Neveu de Rameau). In Russia, V. G. Belinskii used the publicistic dialogue form.

REFERENCES

Iakubinskii, L. I. “O dialogicheskoi rechi.” In Russkaia rech’: Sb. Statei, vol. 1. Petrograd, 1923.
Vinokur, T. G. “O nekotorykh syntaksicheskikh osobennostiakh dialogicheskoi rechi.” In Issledovaniia po grammatike russkogo literaturnogo iazyka. Moscow, 1955.
Shvedova, N. Iu. Ocherki po sintaksisu russkoi razgovornoi rechi. Moscow, 1960. Pages 280–352.
Voloshinov, V. N. Marksizm i filosofiia iazyka. Moscow, 1930.
Vinogradov, V. V. O khudozhestvennoi proze. Moscow-Leningrad, 1930.
Vol’kenshtein, V. M. Dramaturgiia. Moscow, 1960.

N. D. ARUTIUNOVA and M. OMAROVA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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