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Book: Hybridity in Systemic Functional Linguistics

Chapter: 3. Hybridity in TRANSITIVITY: Phraseological and metaphorically derived processes in the system network for TRANSITIVITY

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24291


Gordon Tucker’s paper represents the alternative Cardiff Grammar (CaG) developed by Robin Fawcett and Gordon Tucker himself. Premising that lexicogrammatical hybridity is a problem for the design and organisation of the system network, Tucker’s chapter investigates hybridity in the transitivity system, scrupulously probing the potential interaction of different transitivity types in clausal patterns featuring phraseological and metaphorically derived processes. This he does by putting forward for testing a twofold hypothesis concerning a verb’s lexicogrammatical behaviour vis-à-vis its prototypical and metaphorical senses, after which he proceeds systematically to: a) define the extent to which the process in a given expression is hybrid or not on the basis of its use of metaphor/metonymy; b) apply various criteria tests for determining process type membership in any given expression; c) try out a range of alternatives for modelling these in the system network representation of the meaning potential available to speakers of a language and d) contemplate the lexicogrammatical consequences of each alternative. As the SFL separation of the semantic and lexicogrammatical strata is not shared by CaG, the task of modelling metaphoricity is an even thornier one, which, however, Tucker negotiates admirably. In conclusion he notes, among other qualms, that ‘It does appear that descriptions and procedures set up for prototypical cases strain under the weight of hybridity’. Nonetheless he would shun any solution that involved ‘[b]rushing the problem under the carpet’.

Chapter Contributors

  • Gordon Tucker ( - tucker) 'University of Cardiff'