Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

The Analysis of Grammatical Voice in the Short Story "The Setar"1

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

The Analysis of Grammatical Voice in the Short Story "The Setar"1

Article excerpt


In the history of grammar, the study of voice dates at least to the Sanskrit grammar of Panini. Voice analysis is thus one of the most ancient topics in the tradition of descriptive grammar.

There is undoubtedly a systematic relation between the literary style and an author's thought and perception (syntax is a means of forming such a perception) and grammatical voice is showing part of this relation.

The short story "The setar" is the reflection of Jalal Al-e-Ahmand own life, which has a tragic procedure and comes from an active hope to a passive hopeless. And from transitive verbs with active voice (which includes 71% of the whole story) to the intransitive verbs with passive voice (which appears in 23% of the whole sentences). There are also reflexive and middle voices in a few sentences.

Keywords: Style, Stylistics, Grammatical voice, Active voice, Passive voice

1. Introduction

This paper represents the analysis of grammatical voice on the short story "The setar" (by Jalal Al-e-Ahmad). The purpose is to determine the literary style of the author. Before analyzing the story and its dominant voice, it is necessary to define the "style" and "stylistics" as mentioned below.

"style in literature is the literary element that describes the ways that the author uses words-the author's word choice, sentence structure, figurative language, and sentence arrangement all work together to establish mood, images, and meaning in the text. Style describes how the author describes events, objects, and ideas": (Mirsadeghi, 1376).

"Stylistics is the study of the language of literature. Which makes use of various tools of linguistic analysis. Stylistics is a field of empirical inquiry in which the insights and techniques of linguistic theory are used to analyze literary texts": (wynne, 2005).

It seems necessary to mention that studies on grammatical voice are very few in Persian. Fotoohi (1387) is one who worked on grammatical voice. In his article he recognizes three voices and styles in the works of contemporary Persian poet, Qeysar Amin pour's (2007). Voices are active, passive and reflexive. This classification has based on language (lexical and syntax), imagination and idea. Three different periods of the poet's life have been presented in three colors.

This article concludes that Aminpour is a true poet because he represents his real feelings of the world and the society and his poems show obviously the sprite of time and his true relations with the ideological changes in Iran.

In this paper the grammatical voice of "The setar", literary, grammatical and conceptual criticism of it will be studied.

2. Research Framework

Significantly related ideas about grammatical voice and its different types should first be mentioned. Fotoohi (1387) proposes that the voice of a verb describes the relationship between the action that the verb expresses and the participants identified by its arguments.

When the subject is the agent or doer of the action, the verb is in the active voice, when the subject is the patient or target of the action, it is in the passive voice. Tufte (1971) believes that if we accept the systematic relation between style and thought, and syntax as the agent of creating idea, then there is a stable connection between the grammatical structures of the sentences and the style of the author. He also mentions that the grammatical voice shows a part of relation between style and thought.

Klaiman (1991) argues that categories of the verb in natural languages include tense, aspect, modality and voice. Voice expresses relations between a predicate and a set of nominal positions in a clause or other structure. Grammatical voice introduces a threefold classification of voice types, in the first place distinguishing passivization phenomena (derived voice) from active-middle systems (basic voice): and further, distinguishing each of these from pragmatically grounded voice behaviors, such as focus and inverse systems. …

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