Stylistics and the Teaching of Literature

2003/04 Semester 1

Module Lecturer: Dr Ismail S. Talib. E-mail: ellibst@leonis.nus.edu.sg.

Office: AS5 #03-09. Tel.: 6874 6045

Prerequisites: Nil, but students are expected to have a very good grasp of basic linguistics, and have an appreciation of literature

Module Description: Much of the stylistic analysis will be based on concepts found in Halliday's Introduction to Functional Grammar. Students will also be analysing the sound features of poetry, and point-of-view and speech and thought presentation in fictional narratives. In addition, students are expected to reflect on how stylistic features may have a bearing on the teaching of literature, especially in relation to practical criticism. You can take a look at the programme, which will give you details on the lectures covered each week, and the notes to be read from the Literary Stylistics web site.

General aim: The general aim of this module is to introduce students to the linguistic and discourse-analytical approaches to style in literary works, and to relate stylistic features to the teaching of literature.


Continuous Assessment:Practical work will consist of project work which constitutes 50% of the total marks for the module.

Examination: The examination will constitute 50% of the total marks for this module.



Grammar Reference

For the detailed explanation of the main grammatical model used for this module, you may refer to the following book:

Halliday, M.A.K. An Introduction to Functional Grammar. Second Edition. London: Arnold, 1994.

Useful Texts

There is no single stylistic textbook recommended for this module. However, some of the following books will be useful for some of the lectures in the module:

Carter, Ronald (ed.). Language and Literature. London: Unwin, 1982.

Hasan, Ruqaiya. Linguistics, Language and Verbal Art. Deakin UP, 1985.

Leech, Geoffrey N. A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry. London: Longman, 1969.

& M. H. Short. Style in Fiction. London: Longman, 1981.

Short, Mick Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays, and Prose. Harlow, Essex: Longman , 1996.

(ed.). Reading, Analysing, and Teaching Literature. London: Longman, 1988.

Talib, Ismail S. The Language of Postcolonial Literatures. London: Routledge, 2002.

Toolan, Michael. Language in Literature: An Introduction to Stylistics. London: Arnold, 1998.

Wales, Katie. Dictionary of Stylistics. London: Longman, 1989.