Course Convenor: Dr. Kathryn Allan
This course foregrounds the relationship between language and literary and non-literary
texts, and considers language use from particular perspectives. Students will
be encouraged to think about the difference between written and spoken language
in a detailed and systematic way, and to analyse different text types from a
linguistic perspective, paying attention to grammatical, lexical and
The first part of the course will introduce students to approaches from within stylistics and discourse analysis, and will examine the ways in which specific linguistic choices create variations in style and meaning. The questions of what makes a text, and what makes a text ‘cohesive’, will be explored, and the language associated with different discourse types such as politics, advertising and humour, will be examined. The course will go on to explore the way in which linguistic choices can be evaluated from different theoretical positions. Topics will include Critical Discourse Analysis, Raymond Williams’ Keywords, Marxist and feminist perspectives on language, and intertextuality.
The course will be taught in twenty two-hour seminars, and examined by an 8,000-word Course Essay.