International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Decoding the Context of Ideology in Two Extracts from a Contemporary Ghanaian Prose Work
Leonard A. KOUSSOUHON, Patrice A. AKOGBETO, Innocent KOUTCHADE, Ayodele A. ALLAGBE

This study is premised on the systemic functional perspective to textual analysis, which considers language as a means for the expression of content, the enactment of the social world and the construction of texts or discourses (cf. Halliday, 1971, Halliday and Hasan, 1985/1989, Eggins, 1994, Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004, Fontaine, 2013). Ittakes the view thatonly authentic products of social interaction-texts- have the potential to reflect or mirror reality in the (social) world. In this perspective, it contendsthat the analysis of authentic products of social interaction-texts-should always consider the cultural and social context in which they are negotiated (Eggins, 1994).It follows from this to highlight that there is a dialectal relationship between text (or language) and context (or culture) (Widdowson, 2004). This is to say, texts hapes and is in turn shaped by context. Systemic scholars underscore three types of context, viz. context of culture (or genre), context of situation (or register) and context of ideology (Eggins, 1994). This paper aims to decode the context of ideology in a fictional text, viz. The Housemaid (1998), written by an African (Ghanaian) female writer. Specifically, it aims to unveil the linguistic (or transitivity) structures which obviously encode the world-view or ideological stance of the writer. The assumption here is that a fictional (or narrative) text is framed by the authorial ideology. While the findings of this study prove the relevance of the SFL theory to the analysis of a contemporary literary text, they also confirm that Amma Darko endorses the feminist theoretical praxis.

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