15. SFL and the study of literature
Annabelle Lukin [+]
Jonathan J. Webster [+]
City University of Hong Kong
Both Halliday and Hasan – and others in the systemic functional tradition who have worked on literary texts, such as Butt (see e.g. 1983; 1984a; 1984b; 1985; 1988a; 1988b; 1996) and O’Toole (e.g. 1976; 1980; 1982; 1988) – see the stylistic tradition through the Russian Formalist and Prague Structuralist schools as part of the theoretical antecedents for the orientation to the study of verbal art which has developed in systemic functional work. That Halliday, Hasan and others should have seen in these scholarly traditions a conception of language in literature which harmonises with the systemic functional orientation is not surprising: both the Russian Formalists and Prague School scholars, for various philosophical reasons, were committed to bringing linguistics to the study of literature. A brief discussion of this work, with particular reference to the work of Mukarˇovský, will provide some of the relevant theoretical background to the work in systemic functional studies of verbal art.