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Group

Assignment
number 1
Submitted to: Sir Salman Riaz

Submitted by: Group number 4

Members: Isra Irshad


Sidra Zafar
Sadaf Saleem
Arooj Fatima
Subbah Mir
BS English

4th Semester

Topic: Semantic and Grammatical


Analysis
Course: Introduction to General Linguistics II

Submission Date: 08-06-2009

Semantically and grammatically analyze the poem The Solitary


Reaper. Also show how these devices impact the theme of the poem.

The Solitary Reaper


William Wordsworth
Semantic and Grammatical Analysis
Semantic devices include
1. Denotative and connotative meanings
2. Colloquialism
3. Figures of speech
4. Semantic equivalence
5. Repetition

All the words of this poem give denotative meanings.


There is no use of colloquial expressions.

On the other hand, it is enriched with figures of speech which are mentioned
below

1. Metaphor-description of one thing in terms of another that is related to it


by analogy. The metaphor of “Nightingale” and “Cuckoo-bird” are used
to highlight the rhythm of girl’s tone. In fact, the poet compares the
symphony of the voice of these two words with that of girl’s voice.
2. Hyperbole-exaggeration or over-statement for emphasis.
“O listen! For the Vale profound
Is overflowing with sound
No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands”
These extracted lines clearly illustrate how the poet has tried to put
stress on the beautiful tone of the girl’s song. In fact while doing this
effort, he has over-stated his thoughts and made a mountain out of mole.
3. Apostrophe-an old-fashioned direct address to an absent or dead person
or a thing. “Behold her” and “O listen!” are the terms of address to the
readers which create imagery. Neither the reader was present in that
“Highland” to look at her nor could he/she hear any song in a melodious
tone.
Semantic equivalence is used at a few places and the words are given as under
1. Highland and Vale (used for hilly areas)
2. Lass and Maiden (used for a young girl)
3. Solitary and alone (used to show an isolated person)
4. motionless and still (used to depict no movement at all)

This poem lacks repetition of sounds and words.


Grammatical devices include
1. Use of parts of speech
2. Syntactic equivalence

Different parts of speech are strung in an artistic fashion so as to convey the


desired message in an ordered manner. Wordsworth creatively makes use of
classes of words to signify those aspects which, in his point of view, hold
prime importance. Furthermore, the use of archaic words such as “Yon”,
“maiden”, “vale” give clues about the time when this poem was penned down.

The use of words like “Behold her” and “O listen!” are used as tools for the
creation of imagery which act as indicators for the readers to look at “the
maiden” and hear her song whole-heartedly. The poet utilizes words like
“nightingale” and “cuckoo-bird” to put into light the symphony of girl’s voice.

The selection of words clearly shows that the poet was greatly influenced by
the song sung by “Solitary Highland Lass!”. The entire poem revolves around
an alone maiden and the symphony and rhythm of her voice. In the end,
William Wordsworth had to admit that he was unable to forget “The music” of
the song. The memories of the song occupied his “heart” for a long, long time.

This poem lacks syntactic equivalence.

The semantic and grammatical devices have enhanced the effect of poem on
reader’s mind. The use of such devices has beautified and intensified the theme
which in turn enables the reader to get the hidden message explicitly. Such
devices not only make the language more flowery but also lay emphasis on the
required words and ideas.

Due to fine feelings and striking language used by the poet, the reader of the
poem gets involved in the imagery created at the very onset of the poem. The
charm of the poem continues as he makes wild guesses about the meaning of
song because he had no idea about the language in which the song was being
sung. The interest remains till the end when Wordsworth gives final words to
his thought about the beautiful voice which was once heard by him in Scotland.

Having a critical view over this beautiful poem, we can say that semantic and
grammatical devices do a lot good to it. It is due to their usage that one
becomes able to enjoy the poem to its fullest. Poet gets impressed by the
rhythmic tone of the lass to such an extent that he decides to write down his
feelings and share the enchanting experience with others. The sound of her
voice remains in his heart for very long time.