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Systemic Functional Linguistics and Literary Analysis provides the literary critic with a systematic method for dealing with the way meaning in literature is created through language, and even with techniques for noticing aspects of literary texts which might otherwise have been missed.
The book is an attempt to bridge the traditional divide between linguistics and literary criticism by exploring the interface of language and literature. More specifically, it investigates the applicability to literary analysis of M.A.K. Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics, which – with its functional view of language in context – seems to offer itself as a particularly useful approach for those who seek linguistic substantiation of their analyses of literary texts. Following a brief introduction to Halliday’s theory of language, the book examines various texts by James Joyce, and does so in critical dialogue with the theory employed. Particular emphasis is given to the linguistic resources involved in Joyce’s changing prose style from Dubliners via Ulysses to Finnegans Wake, and to how Hallidayan linguistics may help us understand and describe these texts as functional acts of communication between the author and his readers.
‘A valuable contribution to the discussion of the interface between linguistics and the study of literature’ Professor Michael Toolan, University of Birmingham
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