Socio-Semantic Processes in Social Actors Representation: A Case Study of “Ya-Sin”

in Al-Bayan: Journal of Qur'an and Hadith Studies
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Abstract

The academic field of Qurʾānic Studies employs a wide range of approaches, each one of which helps to open up a new perspective on the Qurʾānic text. The Holy Book was revealed to guide people; it is thus of relevance to all aspects of people’s lives. This article focuses on the way social actors are represented in one Meccan sūra, entitled “Ya-Sin”, and employs a case-study approach to do so. The analysis carried out includes the socio-semantic processes that the sūra uses in order to represent social actors either by behavior (action) or meaning (reflection), and it also analyzes the actors as they are represented in processes such as activation and passivation. The methodology adopted is eclectic and analytic. It is a hybrid of Swales’ move analysis, El-Awa’s identification of shift-markers, and Halliday’s and Van Leeuwen’s theories of social actor representation. This study shows how such an analysis can contribute to understanding the apparently fragmented and non-linear nature of “Ya-Sin”.

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