The English Lexicogrammar of Violence: lexical resources

Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen, Christina DeCoursey


This paper is an exploratory description of the lexicogrammar of violence — of the resources provided by the lexicogrammar of English for construing our experience of violence as wordings alongside other domains of experience that are difficult to come to terms with such as pain and emotion. We give particular attention to the lexical resources within the continuum of lexicogrammar, but locate them within the grammatical “schemata” they operate in. Our exploratory account is informed by Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). It draws centrally on certain aspects of SFL, including the primary given to paradigmatic organization, the stratification of the content plane of language into semantics (meaning) and lexicogrammar (wording), the organization of the content plane into simultaneous metafunctions, the cline or continuum between the system of language, the overall meaning potential of language, and instances in the form of texts (operating in context), and the diversification of language into different registers (functional varieties) adapted to different types of context. We present an overview of the lexical resources of verbs and nouns, and show how verbs can be classified in their different senses by reference to the grammatical system of transitivity (in particular, process type).




Systemic Functional Linguistics; lexicogrammar; violence

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e-ISSN: 2446-6905 | ISSN:  1414-7165 | DOI: 10.12957/matraga

Matraga é uma publicação do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Letras da UERJ:

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