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A Functional Approach to Interpersonal Meaning in Wuthering Heights

Author ZuoSuZhen
Tutor LanJie
School Xinjiang University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords interpersonal meaning functional grammar mood modality Wuthering Heights
CLC
Type Master's thesis
Year 2007
Downloads 527
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Interpersonal meaning, or interpersonal function, refers to the interpersonal, changeable and negotiable aspects of language use, and it has now attracted increasing attention of scholars in the field of linguistic and literary studies.The term is drawn from Halliday’s Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG), in which Halliday distinguishes three metafunctions of language use: ideational, interpersonal and textual. Interpersonal metafunction, as one of three metafunctions, can be used not only to exchange information, but to establish and maintain social relations, to express the speaker’s status, attitude and motivation etc. In other words, people can use language to interact with others, to establish and maintain social roles, to influence others’behavior and to express their view about the world or even to change the world. According to Halliday, interpersonal function can be realized lexico-grammatically by mood and modality. Mood system, which consists of Subject and Finite element, is the system to establish and maintain roles and role relationships between addresser and addressee. Modality system, which can be further divided into Modalization and Modulation, refers to the intermediate ground between positive and negative polarity. It functions to express the addresser’s attitude and judgment.Mainly based on the framework of interpersonal meaning in Halliday’s SFG and theories of discourse analysis and pragmatics, the thesis is aimed to explore the interpersonal meaning in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights. Two dialogues from the novel are analyzed to investigate the characters’personalities and the relationships between them. Through the modality and mood analysis, the characters’personalities can be revealed and the interaction and relationships between them can be realized.This thesis is a trial analysis of two dialogues in the novel Wuthering Heights, and it should offer a new perspective to the studies of characters in this fantastic novel. It is hoped that the thesis is valuable to the understanding of the novel and to the analysis and teaching of novel language.

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