A Systemic Functional Analysis of the Mystic Poet Baba Bullay Shah "Main Jana Jogi Day Naal"

Malik HaqNawaz Danish


This paper is an attempt to analyze the poetry of Punjabi Mystic Poet Baba Bullay Shah. The linguistic analysis of the poem is made possible by application of Halliday’s model of Systemic Functional Grammar. The organization of the linguistic component in a clause bear meaning potential in the text and supplement the overall effect the poet wants to communicate, through decoding the layers of meanings in the text. Halliday, as an argument, applied his method to convey the idea of the meaning potential in the linguistic components of any literary text and himself put Golding’s novel, The Inheritors (1977) and few other literary texts to test to extract the clear effect of the linguistic fabric and internal pattern contributing to the overall impact of the literary text on the reader. Halliday’s Model of linguistics analysis provides an in-depth critique on both linguistic and literary levels. Geoffrey Leech puts Stylistics to be “the study of the use of language in literature”, that is the investigation of “the general characteristics of language, and especially the English language, as a medium of literary expression” .
Stylistics or linguo-stylistics is general linguistics. It is the investigation of inventory of linguistics components securing the desirable effect of the text by their ontological features and investigation of certain types of discourses or texts distinguished by the pragmatic facet of the communication owing to the choice of language means and their arrangement in text. Stylistics was an off shoot of tendency of the grammarians to incarcerate their inquiry to sentences, clauses up to the word combination which are “well formed”. This tendency laid what is now called descriptive grammar, giving space to generative grammar to limit its investigation to sentences which are considered to be well-formed. Any structure that fails to meet the required standard should then be excluded from linguistics.
Stylistics maintained its own status with its distinctive tools of investigation, its particular object of investigation and its own peculiar methods of research. In the attempt of exploration of the language potentialities, attention of the researches have been diverted to linguo-stylistics to extract expressive means and their functions of linguistic components in a clause or a sentence, adding aesthetic value and additional meanings they may carry. The text can be put to stylistic test if it displays the unbreakable unity and the precision of its construction. I , as a functional grammarian, am more interested in finding the link between the grammar and the meaning, the grammar and the context. As de Sylva and Burns (1999) point out:
“... if we see language as functionally related to its context of use, grammar is seen as determined by the kinds of discourses and texts that people need to produce for different purposes in different social contexts.” (pg 34)
Language, especially in Systemic Functional Grammar, is a rich resource for making meaning and authenticating context with the supporting linguistic components in the text. Systemic linguistics realize language and trace the meanings emerging according to the way texts are used in the social contexts as the language is deliberately consumed to express specific meaning determining the way in which the meaning is perceived.
In the attempt of stylistic analysis of the mystical poetry of Baba Bullah Shah, theories of information, psychology, literature, theology, logic and even statistics may be touched upon where pertinent, for linguistics, the science of language, invites references in certain overlapping issues.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v6i2.4998

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