Macquarie University
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The artifice of dialogic exchange in film: “The sunset limited” as a test case for the application of systemic functional description

posted on 2022-03-29, 00:03 authored by Wing Sze Carol Louise Webster
The play by Cormac McCarthy, "The Sunset Limited" (later turned to a film) is investigated as an unusual opportunity to test the efficacy of linguistic and pragmatic theories about interpersonal dimensions of deep dialogic exchanges. There is the authenticity of the exchange that needs to be examined; but the enquiry is centered on the question of linguistic tools for representing adequately the ebb and flow of meanings between real 'persons'. The role of personality studies in the human sciences has been debated by linguists (e.g. Firth), anthropologists (e.g. Douglas), and leading psychologists (e.g. Kagan). The thesis evaluates the power of descriptions in a functional linguistics, and looks to the future elaboration of the tools of an interpersonally oriented linguistics.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. The problem -- 3. Why The sunset limited? -- 4. Field, tenor and mode -- 5. Conversation analysis in The sunset limited -- 6. Theme analysis in The sunset limited -- 7. Conclusion -- 8. References -- Appendices.


Bibliography: pages 63-67 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

David Butt


Copyright Wing Sze Carol Louise Webster 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




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