‘I have a dream’:An Interpersonal Metafunction Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech


  • Fariha Saghir
  • Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Qasim
  • Dr. Masroor Sibtain
  • Shaheen Shafi
  • Irfan Mohsin


interpersonal metafunction, mood, modality, personal pronouns


The present study aims to analyze the memorable speech “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King. The analysis is carried out by using interpersonal metafunction in the domain of systemic functional grammar suggested by Halliday (2004). The paper aims to highlight the linguistic features of a successful and memorable speech through interpersonal analysis. The analysis involves the study of mood, modality, personal pronouns, and some other lexical features. The findings reveal that the declarative mood has frequently been used to convey the message of freedom.The imperative mood is also used several times as a motivating factor for the audience to work together for the freedom movement.Moreover, first-person pronouns are persistently used throughout the speech to develop a rapport that ultimately minimizes the gap between the audience and the speaker. Moreover, the use of parallel wording creates a long-lasting effect on the minds of the listeners. The aforementioned features of public speech make render it the quality, and it could rightly be recommendedtothe learners of rhetoric and public speech makers to prepare a better and effective speech




How to Cite

Fariha Saghir, Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Qasim, Dr. Masroor Sibtain, Shaheen Shafi, & Irfan Mohsin. (2023). ‘I have a dream’:An Interpersonal Metafunction Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech. Elementary Education Online, 20(4), 2380–2389. Retrieved from https://ilkogretim-online.org/index.php/pub/article/view/4444




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