Search This Blog




The important concepts for conducting research of Transitivity Process and Ideological Construction of Donald Trump‟s Speeches are provided in this chapter. Those are background of the study, research problems, research objectives, significance of the study, scope and limitations, and definition of key terms.

1.1. Background of the Study

In recent years, the discussions of grammar have moved from sentence-based perspective to more of a discourse-based perspective. Hudges and McCarty, for example, have argued that traditional explanations of grammar do not adequately capture grammatical selection in longer, real-world texts. They formulate that a number of linguistic items will show quite different pattern of use when looked at from discourse perspective rather than a sentence perspective. A discourse-based grammar has a strong connection between form, function, and context. Hence, linguists such as Halliday and Hasan have done their work in the area of discourse grammar. Their interest has been in patterns of grammar and vocabulary that combine to tie meanings in the text together as well as connect the text to the social context in which it occurs (Paltridge, 2006: 127-129).

The discussion of grammar from discourse-based perspective goes along with the theory of Michael Alexander Kirkwood (often M.A.K. Halliday). Halliday is an Australian linguist who develops an internationally influential grammar model, the Systemic Functional Grammar which is also called as Systemic Functional Linguistics (Wang, 2010: 254). In this theory, Halliday has been able to maintain a perspective on language that is grounded in how we actually use language to construe reality and enact social relationship (Halliday&Webster, 2009: 1).

Considering Systemic Functional Linguistics Theory is the new perspective in grammar, it has attracted many researchers to conduct the research in this field of study. Number of researchers have explored SFLT in various data sources such as news (Zhang, 2013; Viscido, 2014), advertisement (Patpong, 2008), movie script (Fikmawati, 2012; Viana, 2013; Setiawan, 2015), student‟s writing (Kurdali, 2012; Nurohmah, 2013; Oliveira, 2015) and essay (Rollins, 2012). In another case, there are many researchers who used SFLT as an approach to be combined with other subjects. Istiqomah (2011) and Mardhia (2017) used SFLT in stylistics analysis. Then, the studies of Ma & Wang (2011) and Riani (2014) had generated new insight into translation by applying systemic functional linguistics.

Going to further explanation, Systemic Functional Linguistics theory (SFLT) claims that language is functional. Here, functional grammar views language as a resource for making meaning. Based on SFLT, language has three functions which are also known as metafunctions of language, they are: (1) Ideational function. In this function, language is used to understand the environment. Ideational function is divided into two sub-functions, logical and experiential. Logical function views language as natural logic and it is realized by the clause complexity system, while experiential function views language as representation of human experiences and it is realized by the transitivity system; (2) Interpersonal function. This function is used to maintain human relationship; and (3) Textual function. It is used to organize message or text (Halliday, 1985: xiii).

In this present study, the writer takes transitivity system as concern of the research. Transitivity system belongs to the experiential metafunctions, it means that language is used to represent human experiences. Halliday & Webster (2009: 3) gives the following example to illustrate how we use language to construe our experience: “Glass cracks more quickly the harder you press on it.” There are two processes – cracks and press – along with their associated participants and circumstances. The elements of this sentence are as follows: glass - participant; cracks - process; more quickly - circumstance; the harder - circumstance; you - participant; press - process; on it - circumstance (it = participant). Here the processes have been stated as verbs and participant(s) as nouns, it may be re-worded in the language of science as: “The rate of glass crack growth depends on the magnitude of stress”.

From the example above, we can realize that there are three important elements in transitivity system, they are, participant, process, and circumstance. The process itself can be classified into material process (process of doing), mental process (process of sensing), relational process (process of being), verbal process (process of saying), behavioral process (process of behaving), and existential process (process of existing). The concepts of process, participant, and circumstance include semantic categories which explain in the most general way how phenomena of the real world are represented as linguistics structure (Halliday, 1985: 102). Transitivity system refers to a system for describing the whole clause, rather than just the verb and its object. The outer world of reality that is brought into the inner world of reality in one„s consciousness, which is encoded in the transitivity systems of language, is interpreted as a what-is-going-on process, which is related to material actions, events, states and relations (Halliday, 1978: 60).

Related to transitivity system, many researchers have focused on investigating transitivity system in several genres. Opara (2012) and Gumanti (2014) succeed to use transitivity analysis in narrative text; Winarno (2012) in movie script; Fillah (2016) in newspaper; and Rohmah (2015) and Limp (2016) in novel. Other researchers have yielded the research of transitivity in some settings with different forms of analysis, for instance: in academic, it includes student‟s text book (Salsabil, 2014; Anggun, 2016; and Oriza, 2017); politic which includes speech (Rahmadania, 2012; Afif, 2013; and Dhanianti, 2014), news (Sidabutar, 2014; Ong‟onda, 2016), and debate (Zhang, 2017). Meanwhile, these previous studies had captured all aspects in transitivity system. Moreover the research of Rahmadania (2012) which attempted to analyze the transitivity process of inauguration speeches of two Australian prime ministers had done her research very well. It is because she did not only give us a clear understanding about the kinds of transitivity process but also its reason why certain process appeared more often than the others. Therefore, to create new finding the writer not only presents the analysis of transitivity process but also connects it with another subject that is Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). This interesting combination is considered as an appropriate collaboration since these two fields of study are interrelated. By concerning on the relationship of SFLT and CDA, Oktifati and Damanhuri (2014: 22) state that Systemic Functional Grammar is profoundly concerned with the relationship between language and other elements and aspects of social life, and its approach to the linguistic analysis of texts is always oriented to the social character of texts. Moreover, in Systemic Functional Grammar, it will be gained two terms that are Systemic Grammar and Functional Grammar. Here Systemic grammar aims to explain the internal relations in language as a system while Functional grammar considers language as a means of social interaction. Considering SFG can be an approach to the analysis of social practice, it has relation with CDA which aims to portray a discourse as part of a social process and practice (Fairclough. 1989: 162). Therefore, the transitivity process as a part of SFG is usually considered the main foundation of text analysis in critical discourse studies. It is strengthened by Wodak & Meyer (2001: 8) who asserts that 'an understanding of the basic claims of Halliday's grammar [i.e. systemic functional grammar] and his approach to linguistic analysis is essential for a proper understanding of CDA'. So the relationship between transitivity process and CDA is that transitivity process is a good tool in doing CDA (Locke, 2004: 48).



Postingan terkait: