A radical contribution to both linguistic and literary analysis, Talking Voices shows how conversation provides the source for linguistic strategies that are shaped and elaborated in literary discourse and other spoken and written, public and private genres. She explores the scenic and musical basis of both textual meaning and interpersonal involvement in discourse. Repetition establishes rhythm and meaning by patterns of constants and contrasts. Dialogue and imagery create scenes peopled by characters in relation to each other, doing things that are culturally and personally recognizable and meaningful. Our understanding of how discourse works--whether it is spontaneously uttered by conversationalists or carefully structured by the novelist or public speaker--is significantly advanced by this book.