Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

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Is there a literary term for when an author, such as Jane Austen of Sense and Sensibility, chooses not to indicate who is speaking a line of dialogue, but instead the reader knows who is speaking from...

Is there a literary term for when an author, such as Jane Austen of Sense and Sensibility, chooses not to indicate who is speaking a line of dialogue, but instead the reader knows who is speaking from the preceding dialogue?

For example, Austen chooses not to identify Colonel Brandon as the speaker when he says, "I cannot afford to lose one hour."  The effect of this lack of "who said it" is to convey the silent astonishment of the surrounding party and also the urgency of Brandon's claim, but what is the technique called?

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The information an author gives either before or after a line of dialogue in order to identify the speaker is called a dialogue tag. However, as you say, when it is already obvious as to who the speaker is, an author may choose not to give a dialogue tag. We simply call this omitting the dialogue tag. This can often work whenever there is a long exchange between two characters. Dialogue tags have a tendency to draw a reader away from the story; therefore, omitting the tags can produce the effect of moving the dialogue along faster, drawing the reader deeper into the dialogue, and creating more emotional impact through more realism.

There are certainly several places in this scene in which Austen chose to omit the dialogue tags. The first...

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