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Transitivity patterns

16 June 2011

We’d like to announce an upcoming LinC event to be held on Tuesday June 21 2010 in room 0.36 of the Humanities Building, Cardiff University, at 3.30 pm.
Please see below for a description of the event. It will be run as a data session. Everyone is welcome.

Transitivity patterns in post-match media interview discourse

Kieran A. File, PhD Candidate
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

My PhD research explores the language of post-match media interviews in different sports (golf, tennis, rugby and football), and in different regions of the world (Oceania and Europe). The post-match media interview has become a common part of the televised sporting experience, yet, unlike other media interview genres, it has received little research attention. My primary research goal is to conduct a genre and register analysis of the language of post-match interviews using a combination of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and ethnographic interviews with stakeholders in these interviews.

In this data session I aim to break off one aspect of my genre analysis that has been causing me several analytical issues – the grammar of experiential/ideational meaning (transitivity patterns), in particular, the types of processes speakers in this genre use to encode their experiences of the world. Analysing the grammatical patterns of ideational/experiential meaning is an important step in a genre analysis as it helps analysts explore aspects of both the field of a particular register, and to see if field related patterns exist in certain stages of a given genre. However, when analysing transitivity patterns, analysts can come across a number of ‘sticky cases’ that test the theoretical and descriptive boundaries of the theory. My aim for this session is to explore some of these ‘sticky cases’. Firstly, I will talk very briefly about the project and quickly highlight some common transitivity patterns I have identified. We will then have a look at some data together (two transcripts: one from a team sport, one from an individual sport) to explore some of the decisions I am making and see how others view some of the sticky cases evident in this data set.