Abstract: This article is interested in issues of reading and interpreting Indigenous Australian literature with reference to the role played by language in shaping identities throughout novels written by Australian Indigenous writers. In particular, the analysis will focus on excerpts from Kim Scott’s Benang: From the Heart (1999). The article’s linguistic analysis will be based on the tenets of functionalist approaches and partnership theory. The novel’s biographical background further contextualises the analysis of traumatic past experiences and their role in the formation of an “Indigenous identity”.

Keywords: Australian Indigenous Literature; Kim Scott; Systemic Functional Grammar; Transitivity; Appraisal Theory; Partnership Theory

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