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Intertexuality in Language and Literature


How does intertextuality contribute to meaning within texts?

Intertextuality contribute to the meaning within texts through a shared frame of reference with its audiences. By using intertextuality, the text will not only have meaning to the general public, another meaning can be formed through the understanding of the references and allusions. This property of intertextual texts appeals to specific audiences and allow the author to further narrow the target audience. Through this, the ideas the author communicates is strengthened for the specific target audience. The values and context of the referenced text can also contribute to the context of the main text without any further explanation, thus, allowing the audience to understand and interpret on their own.

What is gained and lost through the use of intertextuality?

Context behind the message conveyed in a text is gained through the referenced text. By referring or alluding to another text, values and context behind those texts are transferred to the main text. Furthermore, having a shared frame of reference with the target audience creates covert prestige, allowing ideas to be conveyed with more reliability. However, the use of intertextuality may result in loss of meaning for other audiences who don’t get the text. Although sometimes it may be seen as a benefit, a smaller audience would mean that the message conveyed will be to a smaller audience and may have a lesser impact.

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