Metafunctions in the Thirukkural: A Systemic Functional Linguistics Analysis

Thirukkural, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Thiruvalluvar, Metafunctions,


  • Rubavathanan Markandan
    Department of Public Administration, Uva Wellassa University, Badulla 90000, Sri Lanka; College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
June 30, 2021


‘Thirukkural’ written by Thiruvalluvar, is the most well-known and highly regarded work in the history of Tamil literature. Also, it is well known for its particular structure and wording. It is a distinctive and highly appealing work. Thirukkural has been studied approaching different literary theories. This paper tries to analyse Thirukkural based on the functional method of M. A. K. Halliday, his Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). Here, one chapter – Education - of 133 chapters of the Thirukkural is analyzed using Systemic Functional Linguistic framework to achieve functional groupings of the writer’s linguistic choices in order to express the meanings and find out how functional features contribute to making the poem potentially. The linguistic data collected from the Thirukkural were analyzed by using the functional analysis method. Consequently, how interpersonal relationships are created within texts, how information is organized in texts and how the ideological positions of writer are implanted in texts were shown and interpreted.