EL5221: The Linguistic Analysis of Literature
2006-07, Semester 1
Term Paper

Qn: The advantages of an aspect of systemic grammar in the linguistic analysis of literature

You may depend, to a large measure, on what is done in this course. Although the dividing line between systemic and non-systemic grammar may not be so clear, the earlier sessions of this module deal with a model (or models?) of grammar that is not clearly 'systemic' (for example, as represented by lecture notes nos. 2 and 3). You may want to compare these with what you do later, as represented by lecture notes nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18a, 18b, 18c and 18d. Even lecture notes that do not centrally deal with the grammar, such as 1, 4, 5, 20 and 21, also touch on some facets of systemic grammar. In addition, you will be discussing the grammar in your discussion sessions in class (see the discussion sheets for sessions 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9). After being exposed to the linguistic analysis of literature using the grammar, you will then be in a good position to choose the aspect which you think will best serve your purpose in the writing of the essay.

In writing up your essay, let me remind you that a high premium is placed on your command of the language and your ability to compose an academic essay. These are two of the basic requirements of this exercise and of your course as a whole, in addition to your ability to appreciate literary works and having good knowledge of linguistics in general and Halliday's systemic grammar in particular. For a more comprehensive set of criteria used in assessing your term paper, you should take a look at the document, Your Term Paper: Guidelines for Writing & Criteria for Assessment.

You may want to supplement your readings of the lecture notes with the following:
Michael Cummings and Robert Simmons. The Language of Literature: A Stylistic Introduction to the Study of Literature. Oxford & New York: Pergamon Press, 1983.
Philip L. Graber. Context in Text A Systemic Functional Analysis of the Parable of the Sower. PhD Dissertation, Emory University, 2001.
Ruqaiya Hasan. Linguistics, Language and Verbal Art. Melbourne: Deakin UP, 1985.
Len Unsworth 'Reading grammatically: Exploring the constructedness of literary texts' L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature 2.2 (January 2002): 121-140.

Percentage of total marks for this module: 15%.

No. of words: 2,000 to 4,000 (including the examples or quoted extracts from any chosen texts).
Referencing: Any systematic method of referencing is allowed. Among the style sheets you may want to use for your essay (in order of preference) are those of the American Psychological Association,  the Modern Language Association or the Linguistic Society of America.
Deadline: 31st October 2006 (before 12 am, 1st November).
Method of submission: Through the IVLE module workbin or to the following email address: cosibst@nus.edu.sg. Essays should be written in Microsoft Word (any version). Hard copies will not be accepted, unless an explanation is given to me in advance. Students should scan their files for viruses before submitting them.

Last revised: 26 September 2006.