• ISSN: 2382-6282 (Print); 2972-3108 (Online)
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Lang. Lit. Linguist.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL
    • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jason Miin-Hwa Lim
    • Executive Editor:  Jennifer X. Zeng
    • Indexed by:   CNKI, Google Scholar, Crossref,
    • E-mail: ijlll@ejournal.net
IJLLL 2023 Vol.9(1): 28-33 E-ISSN: 2972-3108
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2023.9.1.377

An Analysis on Foregrounding in Miss Brill from the Perspective of Functional Stylistics

Wenjuan Lang and Meiyan Liu*
AbstractMiss Brill is the masterpiece of modern short story writer Katherine Mansfield, telling the story of an old English lady wandering in France who is hurt by a pair of young lovers. Most of the previous studies on the novel focused on its narrative angle and theatricality. This paper adopts the foregrounding analysis framework of functional stylistics to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the parallelism and deflection features of foregrounding in Miss Brill at the phonological level, the graphological level, the lexical-grammatical level, and the semantic level. This paper finds that: in Miss Brill, the foregrounding features at the phonological level are the use of alliteration and coda; the foregrounding features at the graphological level are the parallelism of punctuation; the foregrounding features at the lexical-grammatical level are manifested in the widespread use of material and mental processes, the emergence of high-value, median-value, and low-value modalities, and the extensive use of marked themes; the foregrounding features at the semantic level are parallel means of connection. These foregrounding methods can better reflect the ideational function, interpersonal function, and textual function of the text, and at the same time, they can also highlight Miss Brill’s tragic living state and her escapist psychological state to readers. By analyzing the foregrounding features of Miss Brill at various language levels and their stylistic effects, this paper vividly displays the story, helps readers understand the language features of the novel, and enhances their comprehension of the topic of the story. Thereby, the readers’ ability to appreciate such novels can be improved, and a new research perspective is provided for the analysis of foregrounding in novels.

Index Terms—Functional stylistics, foregrounding, Miss Brill

Wenjuan Lang and Meiyan Liu are with Northwestern Polytechnical University, China.
*Correspondence: myliu@nwpu.edu.cn


Cite:Wenjuan Lang and Meiyan Liu, "An Analysis on Foregrounding in Miss Brill from the Perspective of Functional Stylistics," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 28-33, 2023.

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