PhD candidate

Topics: Systemic functional grammar, Grammar, Noun phrase Pages: 23 (9207 words) Published: June 1, 2014
International Journal of Linguistics
ISSN 1948-5425
2013, Vol. 5, No. 4

Ideational Grammatical Metaphor in Scientific Texts: A
Hallidayan Perspective
Bahram Kazemian (Corresponding author)
Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran E-mail:

Biook Behnam
Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran E-mail:

Naser Ghafoori
Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran E-mail:

Received: August 8, 2013

Accepted: August 19, 2013

Published: August 28, 2013


Scientific Texts are generally concentrated on highly technical terms, and they are troublesome to understand due to their complexity in forms and meanings. Grammatical metaphor is divided into two broad areas: ideational and interpersonal. This paper focuses on the first type i.e. Ideational Grammatical Metaphor, which includes process types and nominalization. This paper adopts Hallidayan Systemic Functional Grammar to pinpoint and analyze nominalization and the role played by it. With a corpus of 10 authentic scientific texts drawn from very influential magazines, the analysis is conducted based on nominalization, its frequency and process types. The analysis displays that Ideational Grammatical Metaphor has permeated scientific texts and the prevailing process types are material and relational types. Consequently, the tone of the writing is more abstract, technical and formal. Instances of IGM In scientific writing enable technicality and rationality. Based on the findings of this study, some implications can be drawn for academic and scientific 146

International Journal of Linguistics
ISSN 1948-5425
2013, Vol. 5, No. 4

writing and reading as well as translators, students and instructors involved in writing and reading pedagogy.
Keywords: Systemic functional linguistics, Grammatical metaphor, Ideational grammatical metaphor, Nominalization, Process types, Scientific texts


International Journal of Linguistics
ISSN 1948-5425
2013, Vol. 5, No. 4

1. Introduction
The Systemic-Functional Grammar was developed in 1970s by the British linguist M.A.K Halliday, and this particular approach to the study of grammar is significant because it bridges the gap between social and linguistic structure in a precise manner. The basic assumption surrounding Halliday's systemic theory is that form and function of grammar play a fundamental role in discourse formation and that there is a selection of linguistic choices available to satisfy various instances of social needs. Systemic functional linguistics (SFL) is an approach to linguistics that regards language as a social semiotic system. Michael Halliday (1985, 1994) took the notion of SFL from his teacher, J R Firth (Graber, 2001; Aronoff & Miller, 2003).

The theoretical and methodological approach underpinning this work is Grammatical Metaphor (GM) by Halliday (1985, 1994). SFL considers language as a semantic layout of meanings that are generally bound up with a particular context. According to SFL, language thus cannot be separated from either its speakers or its context. The non-congruent ways of encoding language are referred to as GM (Halliday, 1985, 1994; Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999). Thus, GM is a resource that language utilizes to encapsulate information by conveying concepts in an incongruent form which is very worthwhile in scientific genres as a way of expressing objectification and abstraction. And GM has been of paramount importance in the development of scientific genre, particularly in the form of nominalized processes (Webster, 2005b; Halliday & Webster, 2009).

Halliday (1985, 1994) has categorized GM into Ideational Grammatical metaphor (IGM) and interpersonal Grammatical...

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