On Verbal Art - Essays in Honour of Ruqaiya Hasan - Rebekah Wegener

On Verbal Art - Essays in Honour of Ruqaiya Hasan - Rebekah Wegener

Software-assisted Systemic Socio-Semantic Stylistics – Appraising tru* in J.M. Coetzee’s Foe

On Verbal Art - Essays in Honour of Ruqaiya Hasan - Rebekah Wegener

Donna R. Miller [+-]
University of Bologna
Donna R. Miller is Alma Mater Professor at the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the University of Bologna (in retirement since July 2019). Her corpus-assisted investigations have regularly explored the grammar of evaluation in institutional text types and verbal art, this last being the central focus of her recent work, in a Hasanian perspective.
Antonella Luporini [+-]
University of Bologna
Antonella Luporini works as an Adjunct Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the Department of modern languages, literatures and cultures of the University of Bologna. She is a member of the Department’s Centre for Linguistic-Cultural Studies (CeSLiC), where she is currently involved in two research projects, one on computer-mediated communication and English language teaching (CO-METS), the other on Hasan’s Systemic Socio-Semantic Stylistics (formerly Social Semiotic Stylistics, SSS) and the corpus. Her research interests extend to corpus-assisted investigations of conceptual and grammatical metaphor, the main topic of her PhD dissertation (2013). As part of the aforementioned project, and together with Donna R. Miller, Luporini has recently focused on the feasibility of a corpus-assisted approach to the analysis of verbal art within Hasan’s SSS framework, presenting select findings at the 2014 European Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference and the 2015 International Systemic Functional Conference: cf. the 2014 paper “Social Semiotic Stylistics and the corpus: How do-able is an automated analysis of verbal art?”, in Duguid, Marchi, Partington and Taylor (eds), Gentle Obsessions. Literature, Linguistics and Learning. In Honour of John Morley, Rome: Artemide. The most recent advance in Miller and Luporini’s research on Hasan’s work concerns SSS as appliable linguistics in the ESL classroom at University level.

Description

This paper reports recent findings in ongoing research into the limits of applying the methods of corpus linguistics (CL) to the analysis of ‘verbal art’ using Hasan’s Systemic Socio-Semantic Stylistics framework (SSS), a knowledge of which will be in part presumed and where possible cross-referenced in the volume. The text investigated is Coetzee’s novel Foe – a post-colonial rewriting of Robinson Crusoe (RC). Focus is on the evaluation of the notion of truth in Foe by means of appraisal systems and identification of appraisers, appraisees/eds, and what Thompson calls the ‘Russian Doll’ dilemma. The comparative word and keywordlists compiled, for both Foe and RC as reference corpus, reveal potentially relevant lexical items, including silence/word/story/tru* (truth/true/truly), subsequently analyzed in concordances for meaningful clause as exchange/interaction patterns and significant textual location. Such bases for comparison entailed carefully developed annotation schemes tested by significant inter-rater reliability. Findings bring us closer to the novel’s Theme, tentatively formulated as the complex and relative connection between silence/words, authorship (in both fiction and history) and veracity. They also show how CL plays a valuable instrumental role in SSS: a means for identifying significant features which, however, call for further ‘armchair’ scrutiny and the vital linking up to the text’s ‘context of creation’.

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Citation

Miller, Donna R; Luporini, Antonella. Software-assisted Systemic Socio-Semantic Stylistics – Appraising tru* in J.M. Coetzee’s Foe. On Verbal Art - Essays in Honour of Ruqaiya Hasan. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 53-79 Sep 2018. ISBN 9781781794487. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=29808. Date accessed: 03 Dec 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.29808. Sep 2018

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