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Title: Discourse analysis of biblical Hebrew texts : a stylistics based on systemic linguistics for textual analysis
Author: Payne, Geoffrey
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1991
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The thesis is written against a fairly recent background of dispute and acrimony centring on the analysis and interpretation of secular texts using either the long-established, literary-critical approach, or the newer, stylistics approach based on modern linguistics. Linguistic stylistics seeks to relate the observations of literary criticism rigorously to the linguistic infra-structure. The thesis sets out to test a form of stylistics based on systemic linguistics, a linguistics originating with J.R. Firth and developed especially by M.A.K. Halliday. It is ideally suited to the interpretation of all kinds of texts, because it is based on a semanticized grammar, i.e. it relates grammar to meaning and to social context and use. The thesis explores how the language of a text constructs meaning, and stylistics is offered as a methodology to evaluate the detailed data of linguistic analysis and to articulate the relationship between the given of a text and the intuitions of the reader. It does not eschew polysemy, which is of the very nature of texts, especially literary ones, and a major constituent in the pleasure of reading, but explores the limits set by the language to interpretation. I have applied it to a broad range of excerpts from Biblical Hebrew writings covering narrative, conversation, persuasion and poetry. Stylistics is not meant to replace or subordinate other approaches, but is a preliminary and complementary method, demanding of the interpreter a serious regard for language.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available