The linguistic features of the text will be discussed with reference to the grammatical parts and lexical categories resent in the sentences. This will be done by identifying the different phrases and clauses found in the text and explaining the functions of those that represent constituents of a sentence. Then the functions of the major word classes will be described and a distinction will be drawn between content and structure words. The text being analyses is an extract from the novel To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Wolf. The text is therefore narrative.
The literary technique used in this text is very rare, it is known as the stream-efficaciousness. This suggests that most of it is written as an unbroken flow of perceptions, thoughts and linings. What is written is not from an objective narrator’s point of view, but rather, what is happening inside the character’s mind. It presents to the reader the course and rhythm of consciousness exactly as it occurs. The method used to enable this will be discussed in combination with the structure of the text. The purpose of the text is to narrate as well as entertain.
It draws the reader into an event or series of events to bestow insights into the life of a person or situation. The author sets out to captivate the audience by appealing to their senses and imagination. The Structure Of the text is determined by the distinctive use of cohesion, coherence and punctuation. Cohesion is especially necessary when a passage is more than one sentence in length. There are various types of cohesion that can be used effectively. Two types will be discussed with examples from within the text, namely lexical cohesion and grammatical cohesion. … And the effort of looking at it and the effort of thinking of him landing there, which both seemed to be one and the same effort,… “, is an example of lexical cohesion in the form of direct repetition. The word “effort” is continuously repeated. Another example of calicle cohesion is: “It was done; it is finished. ” In this example, cohesion IS acquired by the use of synonyms. “Done” is a synonym for “finished”. Grammatical cohesion is also present in the text. For example, “Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision. This serves as an example of personal pronoun reference, where the pronoun occurs in a different form in a particular sentence. “He’ is a variant of “she” and “my’ is a variant of “l”. “He stood by her on the edge of the lawn… And said… : ‘They will have landed,’… ” This is another example where grammatical cohesion is used. In this case, the additive conjunction “and” provides cohesion. The coherence Of a text concerns the ways in which concepts and relations are linked to achieve communication. In this text, coherence did not come across as prominent as cohesion.
There is, however, one example that can be given: “For the lighthouse had become almost invisible… Effort, had stretched her body and mind to the utmost. ” Causality is the type of relation used in this example of coherence. The cause of her struggling to see the lighthouse, is the fact that her body and mind was stretched to the utmost. The last facet f the structure of the text that is going to be discussed, is punctuation. The most frequently used punctuation marks in this text are commas and semicolons. As previously discussed, this text is written in such a way as to indicate the flow of thoughts.
One thought suggests another, they come about continuously and without an end. This is why the use of a comma is so recurrent. It is used to indicate the endless flow of thoughts in the mind of the character. The author employs semicolons to show the continuation of the consciousness. In this text, the author does not intervene as commentator, and does not neaten the lactation of the mental process into grammatical sentences that occur in a logical or coherent order. As a result, a full stop is used much less than a comma.
The target audience of this text is abstract and imaginative thinkers. The author makes use of symbols not only throughout this text, but throughout the novel. Abstract thinkers are intellectual and would appreciate the existing symbolism. The literary device used is very inventive and creative. It makes use of abstract ideas and images, and would therefore intrigue imaginative thinkers. When reading the text it feels like stumbling into a ream, an abstract, non-realistic world. Another important aspect to consider is the tone of the text.
The tone is the manner in which the author expresses the character’s attitude through his/her writing. In this case, the tone is definitely subjective, because it describes feelings and opinions. The details include experiences, senses, feelings and thoughts. The character’s tone is initially a bit negative and weary, but then quickly shifts to a pleased, grateful, enthusiastic and positive tone. A wide range of linguistic features can be discussed, but the main characteristics that will be addressed in this analysis re: the parts and structure of sentences, and the major word classes.
A sentence consists of divisible parts, called constituents. Each constituent is formulated by a set of words and fulfils a specific function. These words can form either a phrase or a clause. A phrase is a collection of words that may contain nouns or verbs, but does not contain a subject doing a verb. Whereas, a clause has a subject actively doing a verb. There are numerous different types of phrasal categories found within this text, therefore only a few examples will be mentioned. “… Looking like an old pagan God… ,” is an example of a noun phrase.
In this case, the phrase describes the subject (which is a noun) of the sentence: old Mr. Carmichael. Another example is, “… Swaying a little in his bulk… ” This is a verb phrase, because it explains the way in which Mr. Carmichael stood. “He stood by her on the edge of the lawn… “. “By her” can also be classified as a verb phrase, because it indicates where he stood. The last example is an adverbial phrase. “Quickly, as if she were recalled by something over there, she turned to her canvas. ” In this case, the phrase modifies the verb, “turned”, and therefore it is regarded as n adverbial phrase.
The major word classes in linguistics include the following: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, and sometimes determiners. Each has a role to play and a specific function that it performs in a sentence. In a narrative text, such as this, whose main purpose is to entertain, the recurrent use of adjectives and adverbs are to be expected. The frequent use of words from these two lexical classes set a distinctive, colorful image in the readers mind, which results in an intense, emotive and sensuous experience when reading the text.