Transitivity Analysis of « The Crying lot of 49 » by Thomas Pynchon

Rym Ezzina

Abstract


Systemic Functional Grammar is a model developed by Michael Halliday in which language is seen from a functional perspective. Language is “a network of systems or interrelated sets of options for making meaning” (Halliday 1994, p. 15). Transitivity is an important notion of Systemic Functional Grammar which is widely used as a tool for Discourse Analysis. “Transitivity is a system of the clause, affecting not only the verb serving as Process but also participants and circumstances.” (Halliday& Mathiessen, 2004, p. 181)

This paper investigates the relationship between linguistic structures and meanings in a literary text. By applying Halliday’s transitivity framework, the paper attempts to reveal how the use of some linguistic cues can unveil the characteristics and techniques employed by Pynchon as a post modernist writer. In particular, the paper focused on the analysis of the verbs according to the different process types in the experiential metafunction. The processes are material processes, mental processes, relational processes, verbal processes, behavioral processes, and existential processes. In addition, the paper seeks to uncover power relations by analyzing participants’ roles involved in each process.

 


Keywords


Systemic Functional Grammar, Transitivity, Process Types, Postmodernism, Crying Lot of 49.

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