Spotlighting fantasy literature with the tools of Frame Semantics and Systemic Functional Linguistics: A case study

Luporini, Antonella (2016) Spotlighting fantasy literature with the tools of Frame Semantics and Systemic Functional Linguistics: A case study. Bologna: Centro di Studi Linguistico-Culturali (CeSLiC) e Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna. ALMADL - Area Sistemi Dipartimentali e Documentali, p. 37. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsacta/5162. In: Quaderni del CeSLiC. Occasional papers A cura di: Miller, Donna Rose. ISSN 1973-221X.
Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
Text(pdf) (Spotlighting Fantasy Literature with the tools of Frame Semantics and Systemic Functional Linguistics: A case study)
License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial

Download (405kB) | Preview

Abstract

This paper presents a dual approach to the stylistic analysis of literary texts, focusing on fantasy literature, and deploying the tools provided by two arguably complementary theoretical-descriptive models: Frame Semantics (FS; Fillmore 1985; 2006 [1982]; Fillmore and Baker 2010) and the system of TRANSITIVITY as developed within Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL; Halliday and Matthiessen 1999; 2014). The frameworks are applied to the analysis of two excerpts from the fantasy series Harry Potter, respectively relating the first and the last of a long series of battles between the protagonist and the main antagonist, Lord Voldemort. Within each passage, we consider all verbs having the two characters, or parts of their bodies (meronymic agency: Simpson 2014), as logical subjects (Halliday and Matthiessen 2014: 80-82), classifying them according to the semantic frame or the Process type they instantiate. Qualitative analysis reveals how agentivity patterns clearly outline a power asymmetry between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort, and work towards their characterization in the fragments under consideration, construing their evolution or involution. The findings confirm our initial hypothesis about the compatibility between the theoretical models adopted, also allowing us to advance a proposal to integrate the FS notion of perspective on an event (Fillmore 1977 a; 1977b) into SFL-informed stylistic studies of transitivity, as this would help analysts stress the figure/ground logic linking the syntagmatic and the paradigmatic planes and its effects on the reader’ s reception. Overall, we argue, the value of FS as a stylistics tool is highlighted by its being juxtaposed with the SFL model, which has been more frequently and systematically applied to the stylistic study of literature.

Abstract
Document type
Monograph (Essay)
Creators
CreatorsAffiliationORCID
Luporini, AntonellaUniversità di Bologna
Keywords
Frame Semantics, FrameNet, Systemic Functional Linguistics, transitivity, stylistics, Harry Potter
Subjects
ISSN
1973-221X
DOI
Deposit date
23 May 2016 09:49
Last modified
08 May 2017 13:15
URI

Other metadata

Downloads

Downloads

Staff only: View the document

^