Chapter 1. Pattern grammar and transitivity analysis

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This chapter focuses on transitivity as modelled in Systemic Functional Linguistics. In analysing transitivity, particular problems are raised by grammatical metaphor, where there is tension between the semantics and the lexicogrammar. Here, I first outline the ways in which grammatical metaphor is captured in other areas of the lexicogrammar. I then explore the kinds of problems that arise in transitivity, by analysing a set of concordance data for a polysemic verb. I use an approach based on pattern grammar (Hunston & Francis 1999), but with modifications allowing more delicate distinctions to be identified. The aim is to investigate how far the approach can contribute to disambiguating different transitivity configurations and thus help decide which process type is being realised.


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