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A Systemic Functional Linguistic Approach to O·Henry’s Short Stories

Author PengAiZhong
Tutor LiFaGen
School Jiangxi Normal University
Course English Education
Keywords short-short story discourse analysis choice of theme grammatical metaphor
Type Master's thesis
Year 2006
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From the perspective of systemic-functional linguistics, every choice of language form has its own meaning—"Choice is meaning" and that has been long maintained by functionalists as an essential belief and principle in discourse analysis. This thesis aims at the application of systemic-functional linguistics to discourse analysis of short-short stories, exemplified with the masterpieces of a top popular American story writer. However, all efforts will be concentrated on the choice of thematic sequence and thematic structure and the choice of grammatical metaphorical wording to discover the features of language use in short-short stories, avoiding the possible complexity and unreliability of analyzing patterns of thematic progression. Considering the attractive specificity in genre, it is assumed that the writer of short-short stories prefers certain types of theme as well as grammatical metaphorical wording to better fulfill his task in a small length of writing. Throughout the research, all the four hypotheses raised at the beginning will have been gradually proved.

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