A WISE COUNTING
Michael Alexender Halliday in his systematic approach has identified three major functions of language, ideational, textual, and intrapersonal. These are what Halliday refers to as metafunction of language. Each has a different perspective of language. The ideational metafunction deals with the view of the natural world in broader and technical way. The short story “a wise counting” is stylistically analyzed applying ideational functional, in order to have a better understanding of the text.
Short stories are most commonly read genres and are widely told by all social groups and cultural context in the world. As Martin and Rose (2007, p. 49) proposed, “short stories are the central genres in all cultures”.
Akbar and Birbal are the most known people in the history of the world, their moral stories have not only influenced their race but also people from any culture, society, and area. One of the most influential short stories from their era is “a wise counting” which is the main theme of this paper. In ancient times It is realized intransitivity and serves to represent situations and events in the world and the reality, actions, and processes that are immersed in it. According to (Halliday 1973: 106) through ideational function, one can embody their experience of the real world. This short story will be systematically analyzed on the grounds of the ideational function of Halliday’s SFG. Which consist of various subcategories. Which explore the grounds of different processes, such as behavioral, material, mental, existential, relational, and verbal.ANALYSIS:
Behavioral: (BEHAVER) Emperor Akbar was in the habit of putting riddles and puzzles to his courtiers.
RELATIONAL: He often asked questions (CARRIER) which were strange and witty.(ATTRIBUTE)
EXISTENTIAL: It took much wisdom (EXISTENT) to answer these questions.
MATERIAL: Once (ACTOR) he asked a very strange question.(GOAL)
MATERIAL: The courtiers were dumb folded by his question.
MATERIAL: Akbar glanced at his courtiers.
MENTAL: As he looked, one by one the heads began to hang low in search of an answer.
EXISTENTIAL: It was at this moment that Birbal entered the courtyard.
VERBAL: Birbal who knew the nature of the emperor quickly grasped the situation and asked, “May I know the question so that I can try for an answer”.
VERBAL: Akbar said, “How many crows are there in this city?”
VERBAL: Without even a moment’s thought, Birbal replied: “There are fifty thousand five hundred and eighty-nine crows, my lord”.
VERBAL:”How can you be so sure?” asked Akbar.
VERBAL: (SAYER) Birbal said, “Make you men count, My lord. If you find more crows it means some have come to visit their relatives here. If you find less number of crows it means some have gone to visit their relatives elsewhere”. (VERBIAGE)
MENTAL: Akbar (SENSOR) was pleased very much by Birbal’s wit.(PHENOMENON)
This analysis doesn’t only help to understand the structure of the story but also a deep meaning. As (Eggins, 1994) rightly quoted, “social contexts comprise two different levels of abstraction, i.e. genre and register, which are respectively described in terms of the context of culture and context of situation”. In this analysis, all processes ideational function were found. This short story is fulfilling the grounds of ideational function. The writer has used that function technically. The abundantly used process is the verbal one. Likewise any short story, it consists of more narrative sentences. Thus on the basis of analysis
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finch, g. (2003). how to study linguistics, A Guide to Understanding Language. new york: PALGRAVE MACMILLAN.
Halliday, M. A. (1973). Exploration in the functions of language. london: Edward Arnold.