A Systemic Functional Analysis Of English Mood System In Selected Dramatic Texts

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A Systemic Functional Analysis Of English Mood System In Selected Dramatic Texts


Abstract


The research is titled: A Systemic Functional Analysis of English Mood System in Selected Dramatic Texts. The study seeks to investigate the extent to which Shaw‘s and Osofisan‘s choices and thestructures of the elements of mood system in their texts, Arms and the Man and Women of Owu affect their abilities to express the interpersonal meanings they set out to convey. The work specifically sets out to analyse the structures of mood system in independent clauses equivalent to simple sentences, identify their types, and indicate whether there is a substantial difference in the ways Shaw, a playwright from Ireland where English language is generally used as the first language and Osofisan, a playwright from Nigeria where English is used as the second language have structured the mood system. The theoretical framework adopted for the work is Systemic Functional Grammar.

The research uses stratified random sampling for the data collection, and Ojo‘s (2011) model as the analytical procedure. To complement Ojo (2011) Halliday and Matthessen‘s (2014), mood block is used. This is necessary so as to pinpoint the elements of clause, which are part of the mood structure and the ones which are residue. The outcome of analysis shows that there is no major difference in the ways the first user of English language and the proficient user of English as the second language have structured the mood system. The study also finds that the playwrights use indicative mood more than imperative mood and that there is no difference between optative mood and volitive mood. Another finding of the study is that mood tag is not a further choice in interrogative mood; and that wish is another function mood conveys.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The central object of study in linguistics is language which is a term that covers several rather different concepts that need to be carefully distinguished. The word ‗language‘ can be described from different points of view, which suggests that there are many definitions attached to it. In fact, Syal and Jindal (2008) say ‗‗Everybody knows the answer to the question ‗What is language?‘ but nobody has so far been able to come out with any standard definitions that fully explains the term language‖

Language is a network of systems that convey meaning. The basic meaning is in an independent clause and each clause has three strands of meaning. These three strands of meaning are ideational, interpersonal and textual (Dawning & Locke, 2006). In this work, the researcher focuses on the interpersonal meaning of language, which deals with exchange between interlocutors. It is assumed that when somebody speaks, he assigns a role to another interlocutor in a dialogue, and the role can be that either of a giver or a receiver of information (cf. Dawning & Locke, 2006). This depends largely on what the speaker intends to do with his/her proposition. The grammatical aspect that determines a particular proposition is Mood.

‘Mood’ and ‘modality’ are separate components of grammar, but they are related in origin and to some extent in meaning. ‘Mood’, as used in grammar, is also derived from ‘mode’, but at some stage the vowel changed by association with the completely different word ‘mood’, meaning a state of mind (e.g. a good/bad mood). Mood, from the perspective of Systemic Functional Grammar, is a grammatical entity that conveys the interpersonal meaning of language at the clausal unit of language.


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