Stylistics Masterclass
Using Linguistics to Interpret Literature

What you will learn

Understand and apply concepts from Systemic Functional Linguistics

Analyse text from three functional perspectives

Identify textual patterns and interpret hidden meanings in text

Carry out a complete stylistic analysis of an excerpt from a short story in English


At last! A comprehensive introductory course in linguistic analysis. This course teaches you how to interpret a text for hidden meanings by analysing its grammar.

In this course we will learn how to use linguistics to interpret literature (or any kind of text!). Specifically, we will apply systemic functional linguistics to analyse the grammar of the text and use the findings to interpret its symbolic meaning. Although the techniques can be applied to any text, in this course we will be looking specifically at the short story “The House of Asterion” by Jorge Luis Borges.

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By the end of the course, you will know how to:

  • Apply grammatical concepts from Systemic Functional Linguistics
  • Analyse the constituency of text (break a text down into clauses)
  • Analyse a variety of clauses from the Ideational, Interpersonal and Textual perspectives
  • Use the results of an analysis to interpret hidden meanings in a text

The course is perfect for students of linguistics and literary studies but will also be valuable for any discipline in which the analysis of text and discourse has a place. If you have an interest in text linguistics, discourse analysis, literary analysis or functional grammar, then this is the course for you! It’s one of a kind.




Ideational meanings
Interpersonal and textual meanings


Constituency analysis
Ideational analysis
Interpersonal analysis
Textual analysis


Identifying and interpreting patterns part 1
Identifying and interpreting patterns part 2


Final remarks