Exploring the Textual Metafunction in a Biblical-Fictional Parable in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Devil on the Cross

Yémalo C. Amoussou

Abstract


This paper explores the textual metafunctional patterns in two fictional versions of a Biblical Parable in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s novel Devil on the Cross (1982) in order to find the similarities and differences between their compositional features. It critically draws on the theory of systemic functional linguistics expounded by specialists like Halliday (1994), Halliday and Matthiessen (2004) and Eggins (2004) to overview the theoretical background to the study, with focus on the grammar of textual meaning, proposes a new Theme classification and uses it to analyze the Thematic structure and taxis system of the two extracts. The researcher has come to the conclusion that, though they are initially spoken, these texts show such interesting textual-meaning properties as the density of ellipsis, of circumstantial and interpersonal thematization, of taxis and rank shift that they should be qualified to belong to both spoken and written mode of discourse.

 


Keywords


Textual metafunction, Theme, ellipsis, foregrounding, parataxis, hypotaxis

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.5p.215

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