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A Kenneth Burke lexicon: A reader's guide to selected terms in the major works of Kenneth Burke, 1931–1972

Charles Francis Carroll, University of Massachusetts Amherst


A Kenneth Burke Lexicon is a lexiconographical study of select terminology in Kenneth Burke's nine major works published during the period from 1931 to 1972: Counterstatement, 1931; Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose, 1935; Attitudes Toward History, 1935; The Philosophy of Literary Form, 1941; A Grammar of Motives, 1945; A Rhetoric of Motives, 1950; The Rhetoric of Religion: Studies in Logology, 1961; Language as Symbolic Form: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method, 1966; and Dramatism and Development , 1972. This study is intended to be used as a pedagogical tool to assist in the teaching and reading of Kenneth Burke. It is comprised of a lexicon of 755 terms and their definitions derived from 4236 textual references. The terms have been selected on the basis of the degree of difficulty they present to the reader. The definitions of these terms are largely composed of Burke's own words in order to more objectively and authentically elucidate and define his complex terminology. In addition to defining terms, the lexicon has employed a methodological approach suggested by Dr. Jane Blankenship of “charting terms.” Such charting provides a fourfold definition: (1) after a summary definition, it (2) undertakes an extended definition to (3) present a history of definitions which (4) charts the evolution of the term over time. By so doing, the lexicon allows the reader the opportunity to look up any given term encountered in reading Kenneth Burke and contextualize it in relation to all of Burke's other major works.

Subject Area

Rhetoric|Composition|Philosophy|Mass media

Recommended Citation

Carroll, Charles Francis, "A Kenneth Burke lexicon: A reader's guide to selected terms in the major works of Kenneth Burke, 1931–1972" (2002). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3056206.