A Functional Perspective on the Relationship between Grammatical Metaphor & Mode in English Political Discourse
Keywords:Systemic Functional Linguistics, grammatical metaphor, mode, lexical density, grammatical intricacy, English political discourse
This study aims to explore the relationships between GM and mode in English political discourse through an analysis of a corpus formed by 15 texts based on Halliday’s GM framework, and these texts construct three text types distinguished in mode, namely, political reports, political speeches and political interviews. After defining the mode scale and the GM distribution scale, the study then examines how GM deployment connects with mode in two steps: (1) establishment of mapping relationships between the lexical density scale and the ideational GM deployment scale; (2) interpretation of the mapping relationships from functional perspectives. It is found that the lexical density scale and GM distribution scale of three text types are well mapped onto each other, which indicates that ideational GM distribution strongly correlates with the lexical density. Such mapping relationships suggest that the deployment of GM is related to mode because the use of GM has distinctive eﬀects on the complexity, organization and ideologies of texts in diﬀerent modes.
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