Thematic adverbial adjuncts of place and direction and their relationship to conceptual metaphor in A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad

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Abstract

Systematic Functional Grammar (SFG), in discussing the textual metafunction of grammar, identifies any sentence element other than Subject in initial position in declarative clauses as "marked Theme". Previous research analysed the use of marked Theme in A. E. Housman's poem sequence A Shropshire Lad (Goatly 2008), revealing the importance of space, place, orientation and direction. These semantic fields have been identified as significant sources for conceptual metaphors, and this chapter re-examines the widespread use of place and direction adjuncts in marked thematic position for their symbolic significance. By analysing in detail ten of poems in which marked Theme is particularly prominent, it demonstrates that they do indeed achieve symbolic value, and that their symbolism is dependent upon the conceptual metaphors/metaphor themes identified in and catalogued in Metalude (Goatly 2002-2005). One can conclude that though apparently backgrounded by being positioned in Theme position, these adjuncts are, in fact, of importance to literary theme.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage in Place : Stylistic Perspectives on Landscape, Place and Environment
EditorsDaniela Francesca VIRDIS, Elisabetta ZURRU, Ernestine LAHEY
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Chapter2
Pages18-44
ISBN (Electronic)9789027260161
ISBN (Print)9789027208415
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021

Publication series

NameLinguistic Approaches to Literature (LAL)
PublisherJohn Benjamin
Volume37
ISSN (Print)1569-3112

Keywords

  • conceptual metaphor
  • marked theme
  • symbolism
  • A. E. Housman
  • A Shropshire Lad
  • systemic functional grammar
  • Metalude database

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