Tongue Twister: to Bridge the Gap
between Teaching Linguistics and Teaching Literature
by: Novalita Fransisca Tungka
Jakobson’s poetic function of a language is the biggest contribution to the field of language and literature. Poetic function enables linguists and literary scholars to analyze the function of language and elements of literature within poetry. That is to say, poetic function bridges the gap between linguistics and literature. Two axes proposed by Jakobson as the core of poetic function are selection and combination. By selecting and combining words in the speech chain based on equivalence, similarity and dissimilarity, synonymy and antonymy, and also contiguity, a language projects the principle of equivalence (Jakobson in Kadarisman, 2010:62). Furthermore, I’m interested in Jakobson’s statement: when dealing with poetic function, linguistics cannot limit itself to the field of poetry (Jakobson, 1980:85). I interpret it as an opportunity to analyze poetic function of other short written works, not only poetry. If I want to relate Jakobson’s poetic function of language with TEFL situation, especially in my place, I directly choose tongue twister to help learners practice their English pronunciation. Tongue twister becomes my first choice because, honestly speaking, English learners in my place are not accustomed to read literary works, especially poetry. Therefore I can use it to stimulate learners’ interest in order to enjoy literary works, also to introduce the beauty of language conveyed in it. Besides, it can also be analyzed phonologically, syntactically and semantically since it is rich in terms of alliteration, rhyme, syntax, and paronomasia as poetic function device. In conclusion, I can say that tongue twister can be used to bridge the gap between teaching linguistics units and elements of literary works.
Jakobson, R. 1980. The Framework of Language. Michigan: Michigan Studies in the Humanities.
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