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Book: Verbal Art and Systemic Functional Linguistics

Chapter: The Case for Slotting Jakobson into SSS

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.30886


Chapter 3 sets out my arguments, which some might already be familiar with, for ‘slotting Jakobson into SSS’ (e.g. Miller 2016a). This is a proposal that I never quite managed to convince Hasan of the need for, although I had made some headway before she left us. She had been at least somewhat intrigued by what had prompted my own thinking, hypotheses, experimentation and conclusions on the question, i.e., what Fowler (1986) dubbed ‘The Mukařovský-Jakobson Theory’, bringing together in an equation one theoretician, fundamental to Hasan’s SSS, Mukařovský, and his contemporary, Jakobson, completely absent from it. Yet till the end she remained sceptical. Her various doubts/issues are rebutted one by one and my case is rested with a bid for a fine-tuned SSS plus (SSS+), one which acknowledges the equivalence of Jakobson’s theory of pervasive parallelism to Hasan’s own means of foregrounding the artistic theme of what she calls the “literature text”. The chapter continues with an illustration of SSS+ via the analysis of pervasive parallelism in one poem by D.H. Lawrence, ‘Bei Hennef’ (1913). Subsequently, seeking to illuminate and validate the findings emerging from the analysis of the poem, it probes its context of creation as Hasan defines it: a tri-dimensional entity consisting of the language, world view and artistic conventions of the socially-situated writer, all examined vis-à-vis those of the time/place of writing.

Chapter Contributors

  • Donna R Miller ( - dmiller) 'University of Bologna'