International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 3, Issue 2, March 2015, Pages: 40-51
Received: Jan. 27, 2015;
Accepted: Feb. 19, 2015;
Published: Mar. 10, 2015
Views 3610 Downloads 272
Roseline Abonego Adejare, Department of Language, Arts and Social Science Education, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria
This study presents a holistic description of the syntactic relationship between transitivity and voice, which has not attracted overt attention. The data comprises 2,187 finite verbal group (FVBG) clauses abstracted from a 17,600-word corpus of orthographically transcribed spoken instructional texts recorded in selected secondary schools in Lagos State, Nigeria. The scale-and-category version of the systemic grammatical model aided the analysis. Fourteen features of syntactic relationship were identified in the literature and their occurrence in the data was ascertained. The pattern and frequency of occurrence of transitivity and voice were determined. Findings confirm the fourteen features and show that the same 1,180 FVBG clauses indicated both transitivity and voice. Voice was however syntactically more basic than transitivity because its unmarked active voice was 26 per cent higher than transitivity’s unmarked transitive. Transitivity was 67 per cent transitive and 33 per cent intransitive while voice was 91 per cent active and 9 per cent passive. Their joint occurrence was 65 per cent active transitive, 25 per cent active intransitive, 8.1 per cent passive intransitive, and 1 per cent passive transitive. Only rarely did there occur such perfect correspondences as active transitive with passive transitive. Passive intransitive clauses with animate subjects were restricted to the text dealing with persons and personalities. The transitive verbal group clause with the rankshifted clause as complement and the non-let imperative clause were shown to be passivisable without extraposition and replacement, and against traditionally held views on transitivity and voice, respectively.
Roseline Abonego Adejare,
The Syntactic Relationship Between Transitivity and Voice, International Journal of Language and Linguistics.
Vol. 3, No. 2,
2015, pp. 40-51.
C.J. Hall, An Introduction to Language and Linguistics, London: Continuum, 2005.
R. Huddleston, Introduction to the Grammar of English, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
R. Quirk, S. Greenbaum, G. Leech and J. Svartvik, A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, London: Longman, 1985.
J. Lyons, An Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968.
M.A.K. Halliday and C. M.I.M. Matthiessen, Introduction to Functional Grammar, 3rd ed., London: Hodder Arnold, 2004.
M.A.K. Halliday, “Notes on Transitivity and Theme in English”, Parts 1—3, Journal of Linguistics 3, 1967-8, pp 37-81.
M.A.K. Halliday, “Types of Process”, in G. Kress, ed., Halliday: System and Function in Language, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976, pp159-73.
J. Svartvik, On Voice in the English Verb, The Hague: Mouton, 1966.
F.R. Palmer, The English Verb, 2nd ed., London: Longman, 1987.
A. Radford, English Syntax: An Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
M.H. Klaiman, Grammatical Voice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
P. Simpson, “Transitivity as Point of View”, Reprinted in L. Mullany and P. Stockwell, Introducing English Language: A Resource Book for Students, London: Routledge, 2010, pp257-264.
R.A. Adejare, The English Verbal Group: Its Form, Meaning and Function, Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2013.
M.A.K. Halliday, “Categories of the Theory of Grammar”, WORD, vol.17, no 3, 1961, pp 241-92 (Rpt. as Bobbs-Merill Series, No Language 36).
M. Tallerman, Understanding Syntax, 2nd ed., London: Hodder Education, 2005.
P. Christophersen and A. O. Sandved, An Advanced English Grammar, London: Macmillan, 1969
A. Downing and P. Locke, English Grammar, London: Routledge, 2006.
S. Greenbaum and G. Nelson, An Introduction to English Grammar, 2nd ed., London: Longman, 2002.
B.M.H. Strang, Modern English Structure, London: Edward Arnold, 1969.
H. Hirao, “Up above as a Complex Preposition”, English Linguistics Research, vol. 3, no.1, 2014,pp12-17.
G. Nelson, English: An Essential Grammar, London: Routledge, 2001.