Realization of Authorial Ideations & Purposes through Transitivity Analysis of Media Texts Written by Native and Non-native Writers of English: A SFG Perspective

Author: Looloo M. Alraimi

Keywords: ideational meaning, process types, systemic functional grammar, transitivity


This study explores how ideational meaning is realized in media texts written by native and nonnative writers of English. Particularly, the paper attempts to analyze transitivity or process types from a semantic-grammatical point of view based on Halliday’s (1985) framework of Systemic Functional Grammar. The study aims to describe and compare the process types used by the authors to transmit their experiences/ideations and fulfill the intended purposes. To this end, eight articles from Washington Post (WP) & Arab News (AN) online newspapers were analyzed. The selected texts were divided into clauses and the process types (material, mental, relational, verbal, existential & behavior) were identified and compared. The analysis reveals that the authors of both newspapers give prominence to the use of material and relational processes seeming to focus exclusively on the actions of physical nature and make links between actions and actors with some qualities associated with them. The subsequently used processes in WP articles are verbal, mental and existential; whereas in AN articles they are mental, existential and verbal. Behavior process is the last and least frequently used process type in both newspapers articles showing that the physiological responses of the actors are not a major involvement. However, the rates of process types in all articles of both newspapers differ considerably. This variation is ascribed to the authors’ choice to include a process type more than the other or exclude another to transmit their own experiences and bring about the intended purpose.