33  Download (0)

Full text



Except where due acknowledgment has been made in the text to other materials, this thesis comprises only original work by this writer.

Bandung, October 2011




I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to many people who have helped me

throughout this study. I am particularly indebted to my supervisors Dr. Emi Emilia, MEd

and Dr. Iwa Lukmana, MA for their invaluable insights, guidance and support during the

research and the thesis writing. This thesis would have not been completed without their


My thanks also go to all the lecturers at English Department of the School of

Postgraduate Studies of UPI for their share from which I have learned a great deal

especially about writing and research.

In addition, I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to my friends who have

let me use their texts for this study. I am also thankful to all my classmates for their share

and support, especially to mba Florita Diana Sari for her cheerful company that has

encouraged me to keep moving.

I would like to express my thanks to my parents, my sister, and my brother whose

love and support have carried me this far. My heartfelt thanks especially go to my mom

and my cousin for their never-ending patience, love, and encouragement. Finally, I

would like to express my deepest gratitude to the teachers of my Islamic studies for their

endless prayers. Without the constant support from these people, this thesis would not



1.5 Significance of the Study ………...

1.6 Operational Definition ………...

1.7 Outline of the Thesis ………..

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW ……….. 2.1 Meaning Construction in Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) ……… 2.2 Written Language Characteristics ………. 2.4 The Importance of Grammatical Metaphor in Written Text ………... 2.5 Research Articles as a Product of Written Language ………. 2.6 Concluding Remarks ………...



3.6 Data Analysis ……… 3.6.1 Ideational Metaphor ……….. 3.6.2 Interpersonal Metaphor ………... 3.6.3 Textual Metaphor ………. 3.6.4 How Grammatical Metaphor Contributes to the Written Language

Characteristics of the Texts ……… 3.7 Concluding Remark ………...

CHAPTER IV: DATA PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION ………... 4.1 Grammatical Metaphor in Students’ Writing ……… 4.1.1 Ideational Metaphor ……….. 4.2 The Contribution of Grammatical Metaphor to the Texts’ Written Characteristics..

4.2.1 Effects on Lexical Density ………... 4.2.2Effects on Abstraction ……….. 4.2.3 Effects on Buried Reasoning ……… 4.2.4 Effects on Impersonal Construction ………. 4.2.5 Effects on Clear Text Structuring ………. 4.3 Concluding Remarks ……….

CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION ……… 5.1 Conclusion ………... 5.2 Recommendation ………... 5.2.1 Pedagogical Implication……… 5.2.2 Suggestions for Further Research ……….









This chapter presents the introduction of the study which is mainly concerned with the

background motivating the conduct of the study. The study was motivated by the difference

between spoken and written characteristics of the language used in writing as identified by

systemic functional linguists such as Halliday (1985) and Martin (1985). As outlined in Section

1.2, the study aims to investigate the types of grammatical metaphors used in students’ written

assignments and how the use of these grammatical metaphors contributes to the written

characteristics of the texts. The rest of this chapter will present the scope of the study that

delimits the focus of the study; the significance of the study; the clarifications of the term central

to this study and the organization of the thesis.

1.1 Background

The distinction between the written and spoken language characteristics has been noted by some

researchers such as Halliday (1985), Martin (1997), Martin and Rose (2008), Schleppegrell

(2005) and Thibault (1991). The distinction has also been pointed out between the language used

in academic writing and other texts written by children or those whose “written language”

reflects spoken language (Christie and Derewianka, 2008; Martin, 1997; Martin and Rose, 2008;

Painter, 2003). The distinctive features of written language include lexical density, abstraction,

nominalization, implicit internal logical relations; impersonal constructions; and clear text

structure (Christie and Derewianka, 2008; Derewianka, 2004; Halliday, 1985; Halliday and

Martin, 1993; Hyland, 2004; Martin, 1991, 1997; Martin and Rose, 2008; Schleppegrell, 2005;



One rich resource contributing to the written features of written language including those

in academic register is grammatical metaphor (Christie and Derewianka, 2008; Halliday and

Martin, 1993; Martin and Rose, 2008; Unsworth, 2000 among others). This term refers to the

transference of grammatical function to mean another in realizing ideational, interpersonal and

textual metafunctions (among others, Halliday, 1985, 1994; Martin, 1985, 1992; Ravelli, 1999,

2005). Ideational metaphor, consisting of experiential and logical metaphor, has been reported to

create technicality, abstraction and lexical density in written texts (Martin 1991, 1995, 1997;

Martin and Rose, 2008; McCabe, 1999; Schleppegrell, 2005; Taverniers, 2003; and Thibault,

1991). Other types of grammatical metaphors, interpersonal and textual metaphors respectively

contribute to the objective orientation of the writer’s opinion (i.e. the text’s impersonal

constructions) and effective text organization (Schleppegrell, 2005). In short, grammatical

metaphor helps create a good text (Martin, 1997).

Researchers in academic writing have long realized the importance of grammatical

metaphors in creating better academic register. Gardner (2008) for instance, reported the

contribution of experiential metaphors to the creation of abstraction and technicality in the

corpus of university students’ writing in the UK across 28 fields of study. Earlier, Martin (1991)

had demonstrated the influence of grammatical metaphor on technicality in science and history

writings. His later investigation (1997) showed how grammatical metaphor created powerful

reasoning and argument in history writing among Australian secondary school students. In

university setting, Ravelli (2005) revealed how the use of textual metaphor affected the essay

organization of undergraduate students at a university in Australia. Another study in the same

setting conducted by Schleppegrell (2005) strengthened the previous findings on this topic, in



quality of the written texts. Finally, Thompson (2003) also showed how interpersonal metaphors

influenced impersonal constructions in university books and academic papers.

Most of these studies have been focusing on one or two areas of grammatical metaphors

especially in experiential and/or interpersonal metaphors. In addition, most studies have also

been conducted to native speakers of English and ESL learners. Schleppegrell’s study (2005)

which investigated the use of the three types of grammatical metaphors in students’ research

reports for example, was conducted to native speakers and ESL learners in a University in the

US. Research in EFL settings as the one conducted by Chen and Foley’s (2005) to Chinese EFL

learners, only focused on nominalizations. As far as this study is concerned, to date, there hasn’t

been any study in this area conducted in Indonesian EFL setting

Considering the importance of grammatical metaphors in creating good written text and

the fact that there hasn’t been much research, if not any, investigating this topic in Indonesian

EFL setting, a study investigating this research area in this setting is thus important. The study

was accordingly conducted for this purpose.

1.2 Aims of the Study

As mentioned briefly earlier, the study was set with the following aims.

1. To find out types of grammatical metaphors used in students’ assignments.

2. To investigate the impact of grammatical metaphors on the written characteristics of the


1.3 Research Questions

In line with the aims above, the study was conducted to address the following research questions.



2. How does the use of grammatical metaphors contribute to the written characteristics of the texts?

1.4 Scope of the Study

The study investigated grammatical metaphors in nine research articles of three postgraduate

students at a university in Bandung. The corpus used in this study was written by the participants

for their first three semester assignments at the university. The study investigated the written

characteristics contributed by the use of grammatical metaphors in the assignments that include

lexical density, abstraction, nominalization, implicit internal logical relations; impersonal

constructions; and the use of organizing vocabulary in text organization. The frameworks used

for conducting the study on grammatical metaphors are that of Halliday’s (1998) for ideational

metaphor, that of Halliday and Matthiessen’s (2004) for interpersonal metaphor and that of

Martin’s (1992) for textual metaphor.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study has potential significance to the theory, the educational practice, and the professional

development of English Education particularly to the teaching of academic writing in Indonesia.

With regard to the first potential significance, this study is expected to enrich the literature of

grammatical metaphor in academic writing settings, which has only received scant attention in

the Indonesian EFL context so far. Second, to the educational practice, the result of this study

will enable practitioners in education especially those at secondary and tertiary levels, to make

better and more informed decision on incorporating grammatical metaphors into the teaching of

academic writing. Finally, to the area of professional development, this research is expected to



that written texts especially those in the academic register incorporate grammatical metaphors in

order to make a good written text (Martin, 1997).

1.6 Operational Definition

Grammatical metaphor is a variation in the grammatical forms through which a semantic choice

is typically realized in the lexicogrammar (Halliday, 1994).

1.7 Outline of the Thesis

The subsequent chapters of the thesis are presented as follows. Chapter II discusses the

literatures used in the study. These cover how meaning is constructed in Systemic Functional

Linguistics from which the notion of grammatical originated, written language characteristics,

grammatical metaphor, the importance of grammatical metaphor in written text and research

article as a product of written language. The methodology of the study will be elaborated in

Chapter II that includes research questions, research design, research setting and participants,

data collection and data analysis. A sample of data analysis will also be presented in this chapter.

Chapter IV will present the data analysis that covers the types of grammatical metaphors used in

students’ assignments and how the use of these grammatical metaphors contributes to the

writteness of the text. The findings from the data analysis will also be discussed in this chapter.

Finally, Chapter Five will conclude the discussions of the preceding chapter as well as outline





This chapter outlines the methodology used in this research that includes purpose of the study

and research questions, research settings and participants, Research design and research method,

data collection and data analysis.

3.1 Aims of the Study

As mentioned in Chapter I, the study was conducted with the aims to:

1. find out types of grammatical metaphor which are used in students’ assignments; and

2. investigate the impact of the use of grammatical metaphor on the written characteristics

of the texts.

3.2 Research Questions

In line with the aims above, the study addressed the following research questions.

1. What types of grammatical metaphor are used in students’ assignments?

2. How does the use of grammatical metaphor contribute to the written characteristics of the


3.3 Research Method and Research Design

This study uses a case study qualitative research design, the method of text analysis in particular

due to the similarities in the nature of the present study with the description of case studies

proposed by research experts. First of all, researchers of qualitative study are not interested in

making generalizations of phenomena under investigation (Dawson, 2009) and this is not what

this study was attempting to do either. Secondly, the present study used a case study method



chosen not “for representativeness but because of its uniqueness or that it can be used to illustrate

an issue”. Thirdly, this study focused on one single entity occurring in its natural environment

without manipulation and this is one characteristic of case study in qualitative research as

indicated by Merriam (1991). Finally, the study investigated one single, low-scale case but

provided an in-depth analysis, which is another feature of case study as proposed by Bordens and

Abbott (2008), Conolle, et. al. (1990), Nunan and Bailey (2009), and Stake (in Silverman, 2005).

All these characteristics indicate that the present study fall under the category of case study.

More specifically, this study used text analysis due to its focus of investigation, i.e. on

written texts (Merriam, 1991; Travers, 2001). As pointed out by Travers (ibid), the procedure of

textual analysis in case study follows the procedures laid out in the related theory. For this

purpose, this study incorporated Grammatical Metaphor developed by Halliday (1994), Halliday

and Mathiessen (2004) and Martin (1992) in analyzing the texts under investigation. Regarding

Functional Grammar, the framework in which grammatical metaphor originated, Freebody (cited

in Emilia, 2007), states that it is “one of a variety of linguistic approaches that have been well

developed in the area of education”.

3.4 Research Settings and Participants

The study investigated nine writing assignments of three students of a state postgraduate school

in Bandung. Thus, three assignments were taken from each participant, each of which was

written for assignment in their first three semesters at the university. The three participants were

chosen based on their GPAs, each of whom representing low-achievers with the GPA of 2.95

(low achiever GPA ranges between 2.80-3.00); average-achievers with the GPA of 3.30 (mid

achiever GPA ranges between 3.15 – 3.45), and high-achievers with the GPA of 3.62 (high



The nature of participants’ involvement in this study was voluntary. Bordens and Abbott

(2008) suggest that voluntary-based participants have two major disadvantages, these are: (1)

volunteer bias, and (2) the ungeneralizable nature of the research findings. These disadvantages

were not issues in the study because: (1) the object of the study was the texts written by the

participants, not the participants who wrote them, for their course assignments -- not for the

study; and (2) as stated previously that case study, the type of qualitative study this study belongs

to, is not intended to make generalization but to investigate one particular case (Hood, 2009).

The limitation of nine research articles in the study was for the purpose of comprehensive

analysis since larger amount of data would not allow such comprehensiveness. In addition, the

rationale behind the involvement of the written work of the three participants in this study was

the fact that they were products of adult writers whose exposure to the mature scientific written

work through their education entails likelihood of grammatical metaphor incorporation in their

texts (Christie, 2002; Christie and Derewianka, 2008; Halliday, 1993) which was the main

interest of this study.

3.5 Data Collection

Even though data collection and data analysis in qualitative research are conducted

simultaneously (Hood, 2009; Merriam, 1991), the two processes will be described separately in

this chapter for purposes of clear description.

The study incorporated document analysis as the technique for data collection. The main

data source for this purpose was nine research articles written by three postgraduate school

students, from each of whom three writing assignments were collected. The assignments were



Thus, the texts used in the study possess high degree of objectivity and stability since they were

produced in the absence of the researcher’s intrusion (Lazaraton, 2009; Merriam, 1991).

However, as suggested by Merriam (ibid), there are two major problems of data

collection in document analysis, namely of authenticity and objectivity. These problems may

arise due to the fact that the data in such process “are subject to purposeful and nonpurposeful

deception”. Of these two constraints, the main issue encountered in this study was that regarding

authenticity in form of plagiarism. This is due to the closely-relatedness of academic writing

with referencing and quoting sources (Tweddle, 2009). Incorrect ways in doing these may lead to

the infringement of plagiarism (ibid). Due to time and software constraints in conducting a

thorough selection to guarantee plagiarized-free research articles inclusion into the study, the

articles were included without any such process.

Despite enrolling in the same year at the postgraduate school, the Field of the texts

written by the participants in the study might widely differ. This was due to the voluntary nature

of this research in which the participants were free to submit the assignment from each semester

to this study on their own accord. To illustrate, there were five courses taken by the participants

each semester and they were free to submit any research article of any course from each semester

to be involved in this study. The texts used in this study, along with the course for which each

was written are presented in Table 3.1 below, while a full sample text can be seen in Appendix



Table 3.1 Texts Used in the Present Study Students Semester 1 Low achiever Title: The Effectiveness of Using

Pictures in Descriptive Writing: A

Mid-achiever Title: English Learning Motivation Score and Its

High-achiever Title: Grouping by Learning Style: a Comparison with

Coding is one important aspect in qualitative data analysis (Hood, 2009; Merriam, 1991;

Seidel, 1998) in which each piece of data important for the purpose of the study is assigned a

unique, either textual or alphanumeric, marker system (Hood, ibid). The writing assignment

collected was coded SA1.A, SA1.B, and SA1.C; SA2.A – SA3.C This labeling is configured as

follows: SA stands for Student’s Assignment; number following SA indicates the writer of the

assignment, Student 1 – Student 3; and the letter following the number indicates the semester

from which the assignment was taken, e.g. A refers to the first semester, B refers to the second

semester and C refers to the third semester. So, for example a text coded SA1.A is the

assignment written by Student 1 as his/her first semester assignment; SA1.B is the assignment

written by Student 1 of his/her second semester assignment; SA1.C is the assignment of Student

1 of his/her third semester assignment, etc. The detail of this labeling is illustrated in the



Table 3.2 Writing Assignment Labeling

Writer Semester Coding

Student 1 1 SA1.A

2 SA1.B

3 SA1.C

Student 2 1 SA2.A

2 SA2.B

3 SA2.C

Student 3 1 SA3.A

2 SA3.B

3 SA3.C

3.6 Data Analysis

The study investigated grammatical metaphor in the participants’ research articles and the

written characteristics contributed by the use of the metaphor in their writings that include lexical

density, abstraction, nominalization, implicit internal logical relations; impersonal constructions;

and clear text structures. Data analysis in the study involved the theory of grammatical metaphor,

especially that developed by Halliday (1998) for ideational metaphor; that by Halliday and

Matthiessen (2004) for Interpersonal Metaphor, and that by Martin (1992) for textual metaphor.

For ease of analysis, abstracts and texts in tables or figures found in the research articles

were not analysed. In addition, due to the concern of the study which was on the participants’

writings, excerpts of (video/audio) recorded observation/interviews and direst quotation from

data were not analysed.

The method used to analyse the grammatical metaphor investigated in this study is

elaborated in the following.

3.6.1 Ideational Metaphor

Due to time constraints, the analysis of ideational metaphor was only conducted on the



realization at the rank level. Since meaning realization at both levels are closely interrelated,

meaning that a metaphorical realization at the rank level also affects the clause configuration at

the structural level (Halliday, 1998; Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004), the metaphorical

realization at the structural level was inevitably identified during the analysis.

Clause was the unit of analysis as is the tradition in systemic functional linguistics. With

regard to rank movement, each clause was analysed whether it (figure) was a metaphorical

realization of clauses (sequence), and further down, whether groups or phrases or words

(elements) within that clause metaphorically realize clause (figure). As for structural

configuration, the study uses Halliday’s (1998) taxonomy of Ideational grammatical metaphor as

illustrated in the following table.

Table 3.3 Ideational Metaphor (Halliday, 1998)

No Semantic Type Class Shift

Congruent Metaphorical

1 Quality Entity Adjective noun

2 Process Entity Verb noun

3 Circumstance[minor process]

Entity Prepositional phrase noun

4 Relator Entity Conjunction noun

5 Process Quality Verb adjective

6 Circumstance Quality Adverb adjective; prepositional phrase

adjective; prepositional phrase noun modifier

7 Relator Quality Conjunction adjective

8 Circumstance Process Be/go + preposition verb

9 Relator Process Conjunction verb

10 Relator Circumstance Conjunction prepositional phrase

11 0 Entity 0 noun

12 0 Process 0 verb

13 Entity Modifier (of entity) Noun various

The metaphorical realizations of conjunctions were used to identify logical metaphor, i.e.

types 4, 7, 9, and 10; while the remaining realizations, i.e. types 1-3, 5, 6, 8, and 13, were used to

identify experiential metaphor. Types 11-12 were not taken into account in the analysis since



On analyzing a clause, type(s) of ideational metaphor occurring in a clause was first

identified with notation. Then, the number of each type of ideational metaphor was totaled. An

example of analysis on ideational metaphor at a clause level is presented in excerpt [3.1] below.

[3.1] His research found that integrative reasons for second language learning are most significant 13 2 5 4 13 2

among the respondents, which are 234 Korean 9th graders


The analysis of ideational metaphor on all clauses from each research article was then totaled as

exemplified to that on a clause and presented in Table 3.4 below.

Table 3.4 Sample Analysis of Ideational Metaphor Ideational Metaphor Types/total Experiential/Types


1 2 3 5 6 8 13 - 2 - - 1 - 2 .ogical/Types


4 7 9 10 - - - 1 - - - -

More example of ideational metaphor analysis can be seen in Appendix 3.6.1.

3.6.2 Interpersonal Metaphor

Since interpersonal metaphor covers areas of Modality and Mood, these two resources of

interpersonal metaphor were also analysed in this study.

There are three points to note regarding the analysis of interpersonal metaphor in this

study. First of all, since projection is a characteristic of interpersonal metaphor that is manifested

in the metaphors of mood and modality (Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004); the unit of analysis for

cases of interpersonal metaphor involving projection was both the projecting and the projected

clauses (see excerpts [3.2] to [3.4] below). Secondly, the projected propositions were then further

analysed to classify to which interpersonal metaphor type the metaphorical clause belongs: 1)

projection that manifests the writer’s assessment was classified as modality metaphor (see



proposal and assigns it to others including manifestation through a) “dummy it” construction,

sources of authority and others that render evidence to the proposition (Halliday and

Mattihessen, 2004) – see excerpt [3.2]. Thirdly, incongruent realization of speech functions of

statement, question, offer and command as another was classified as a case of mood metaphor

(see excerpt [3.3]).

A sample analysis of interpersonal metaphor is exemplified in excerpts [3.2] through

[3.4] below.

[3.2] During the first three meetings, observation showed that students respond well in any of the groupings on student’s initiatives, indicating the higher level of receptiveness among these upper intermediate students (SA.3A)

[3.3] it is clear that the nature of the learning situation will influence a student’s level of motivation. (SA.2A) [3.4] To avoid doing so, teachers are recommended to help these learner. (SA.3A)

Projection is present in both excerpt [3.2] and [3.3] but that in [3.2] is used by the writer

to strengthen her proposition through reference to source of evidence, i.e. observation, shifting

modal responsibility from herself to the observation. This shift in modal responsibility is a case

of mood metaphor and thus interpersonal metaphor in [3.2] was classified as a case of mood

metaphor. In contrast, despite similar writer detachment from the proposition, the projection in

[3.3] denotes the writer’s certainty regarding the proposition that the nature of the learning

situation will influence a student’s level of motivation; hence a case of modality metaphor. On

the other hand, the indicative mood of excerpt [3.4] realizes a proposal which is congruently

realized by imperative. Such incongruent realization of mood function was classified as mood


A more comprehensive example of interpersonal metaphor analysis in the study can be


42 3.6.3 Textual Metaphor

There are two types of unit of analysis for textual metaphor in this study. First, related to

hyper-theme, the unit of analysis was paragraph (Martin, 1992). Second, the units of analysis for

macro-Theme were headings and subheadings (Martin, ibid).

For identifying hyper-Theme, each paragraph in the study was read closely whether or

not the first sentence of the paragraph encapsulates the overall paragraph development. For

identifying macro-Theme however, the first paragraph of each heading/subheading and the

paragraphs following this first paragraph were analysed to see whether or not the development in

that particular heading/subheading followed the idea encapsulated in the first paragraph.

More detail example of textual metaphor analysis in the study can be seen in Appendix


3.6.4 How Grammatical Metaphor Contributes to the Written Language Characteristics of the Texts

After classifying the types of grammatical metaphor used in the texts, the next analysis was

conducted to the impact of these types of grammatical metaphor on making the text more

written-like. This analysis involved the scrutiny on how the use of grammatical metaphor in the

text: (a) helps structure the clause in ways that allow more information and technicality to be

packaged using experiential metaphor; (b) creates greater logical reasoning and conciseness in

the text through the occurrence of logical metaphor; (c) helps the orientation of objectivity

through impersonal constructions through the occurrence of interpersonal metaphor; and (d)

helps create clear text structuring through textual metaphor. For these purposes, the analysis

mainly employed the concept of ideational and interpersonal metaphor formulated by Halliday



The analysis at this stage was conducted to both clause and text levels. At the clause

level, the analysis was conducted to clauses in which the grammatical metaphor occurs and the

impact of such use on making the text more written. Particularly for textual metaphor, the

analysis was conducted at a wider scope which included the paragraphs in which the particular

metaphor is located. In addition, for textual metaphor functioning in text structuring, the analysis

of the textual metaphor effect was also conducted to the “neighbouring” paragraphs, i.e.

paragraphs prior to and following the occurrence of the metaphor. The analysis was even

conducted to the text as a whole for textual metaphor serving as macro-Theme.

To strengthen the data analysis at this stage, the use of grammatical metaphor was also

contrasted to the congruent realizations in the text.

An example of the analysis at this stage is illustrated below using excerpt [3.5].

[3.5] In conducting the study of Error Analysis, there are few things that should be *concerned [considered] by the researcher. One of the important things that should be noted is the steps in EA research proposed by Corder (1974, cited in Ellis, 1994): collection of a sample of learner language, identification of errors, description of errors, explanation of errors, and evaluation of errors. Therefore, the next discussion will talk about the steps taken in this study based on Corder’s. (SA3.C)


There are two types of grammatical metaphor in the above paragraph: textual metaphor

(bold-underlined) and experiential metaphor (underlined) each of which contributes to clear

text structuring and information packaging, as well as abstraction and lexical density

(Halliday, 1994; Martin, 1991; Thibault, 2008).

The organizing vocabulary few things in the first clause complex (sentence) in the

above paragraph is textual metaphor serving as hyper-Theme (Martin, 1992) that predicts

what will be discussed in the paragraph, i.e. things that anyone conducting the study of error



preceded by the internal conjunction (Martin, 1992) One of the important things. This

paragraph is closed with another textual metaphor the steps that sum up what has been

discussed previously. This whole paragraph further predicts what to be discussed in the

paragraphs that follow, serving the function of macro-Theme albeit positioned not at the

beginning of the text. This function of prediction is consistently adhered to by the writer in

which the steps taken in the study of error analysis as suggested by Corder are further

elaborated in the coming paragraphs.

The only experiential metaphor are phrases in underlined collection of a sample of

learner language, identification of errors, description of errors, explanation of errors, and

evaluation of errors which create abstraction and lexical density in this paragraph. However,

such abstraction does not contribute much to the written-ess of the text because, as mentioned

previously, this set of abstraction is the only form of experiential metaphor used in the

paragraph. Thus, apart from the clear text structure contributed by the use of textual metaphor,

the lexical density of this paragraph is relatively low for formal academic writing 3.7 (Halliday,


3.7 Concluding Remark

The chapter has presented the methodology of how the study was conducted. This includes the

research questions which serve as the starting points for the conduct of the research, the selection

of participants and research settings and research design and method. How data were collected





This chapter presents a brief summary of the main findings of the present study. In addition, this

chapter also draws conclusion of the results and presents recommendation that may be of interest

for those involved in curriculum development of English subject and for future researchers

interested to conduct studies in the same area.

5.1 Conclusion

This study was conducted to investigate the use of grammatical metaphor in nine research

articles of three postgraduate students and how the use of grammatical metaphor in their paper

increases the written language characteristics of the texts. The study showed that all the types of

grammatical metaphor were demonstrated by the participants and this use contributed to the

texts’ written language characteristics. In addition, the study revealed that there was variation in

the use of grammatical metaphor in the participants’ texts. The main findings of the study are

summarized below.

The study showed that nominalization dominated the types of grammatical metaphor

found in the texts. There was variation however regarding the sections in the participants’ paper

with most occurrences of grammatical metaphor.

The pervasiveness of nominalization in the data lends support to the findings of previous

studies regarding nominalization (Colombi, 2006; Christie and Derewianka, 2008) as the most

powerful and the most frequent type of grammatical metaphor to occur in academic writing. As



participants in their research articles; the realization of which was manifested through

metaphorical realization of quality, process, and circumstance as entity. One manifestation of

logical metaphor, the metaphorical realization of conjunction as noun, which was relatively

numerous in the participants’ writing, strengthened the dominance of nominalization in this


In line with the well-documented status of nominalization which many systemic

functional linguists claim as one single most powerful type of grammatical metaphor (Christie

and Derewianka, 2008; Colombi, 2006; Halliday, 1994; Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004; Martin

and Rose, 2008), the present study revealed the dominant influence of nominalization on creating

written language characteristics in the participants’ texts as summarized in Table 5.1.

Table 5.1 Grammatical Metaphor Effect on the Texts’ Written Language Characteristics Written Language Characteristics Types of Grammatical Metaphor

1. Lexical Density

2. Abstraction

3. Implicit logical connection 4. Impersonal construction

5. Clear text structuring

1. Experiential metaphor (especially nominalization), logical metaphor 2. Nominalization

3. Logical metaphor

4. Nominalization, explicit objective types of interpersonal metaphor

5. Textual Metaphor, nominalization

In addition to nominalization, awareness of written language characteristics in academic

setting was displayed through the incorporation of explicit objective types of interpersonal

metaphor, the type used in most cases in the participants’ texts. This finding is in line with the

studies conducted by Miremadi and Jamali (2003) and Schleppegrell (2005) which show the use

of explicit objective type of interpersonal metaphor in social science writing. In addition, the



metaphor also confirms Schleppegrell’s (2005) study which reports the favour of explicit

objective variants of interpersonal metaphor in academic writing.

Contradictory to the participants’ success with the two types of grammatical metaphor

mentioned above – nominalization and objective explicit type of interpersonal metaphor --

similar degree of success was not demonstrated in their use of textual metaphor. Both

hyper-Theme and macro-hyper-Theme were present in their writing but most were neither well-constructed

nor developed. The problem with most hyper-Theme was the absence of nominalization which

further lead to poor generalization and analysis of the idea encapsulation to be developed in the

paragraph. Such poor construction and development of hyper-Theme have also been reported in

the previous studies by Ravelli (2005) and Schleppegrell (2005) as typical characteristics of

low-graded writing products. Concerning the problem with macro-Theme, as revealed in the

discussion of the preceding chapter, some research articles showed dislocated development in

some of their sections. This poor global development contradicts Martin’s description (1992,

1993, and 1997) of a written product, which, due to its process of drafting and revising (Eggins,

2004), typically reflects clear text structuring.

Another main finding of the present study was the variation regarding the quantity of

grammatical metaphor in the sections of the research articles among the participants. One

noticeable distinction was the tendency of grammatical metaphor to appear in the first two

sections of the text in the low achiever writings. The first two sections use relatively denser

construction of grammatical metaphor, while the other three sections, especially that of Findings

and Discussion, are nearly without one. As discussed in the previous chapter, one factor

contributing to this imbalanced proportion was poor elaboration. It has also been exemplified in



presented tables and transcripts with hardly any description: thus no room for demonstrating the

use of grammatical metaphor.

5.2 Recommendation

5.2.1 Pedagogical Implication

Below are suggestions for pedagogical implication in relation to the present study.

It is suggested that the concern of grammatical metaphor receive more emphasis in the

curriculum of English learning especially in that of higher education. Exposure to grammatical

metaphor will help students to understand advanced literacy which is heavily constructed with

rich grammatical metaphor. Such exposure will also help them to produce sophisticated piece of

texts highly valued in academic writing.

Considering the confusion regarding the global development of research articles in some

participants’ texts in this study, it is also recommended that English writing at tertiary level put a

considerable emphasis on this genre. Good research articles are a benchmark for academic

community and it is important for university students particularly those at graduate schools to

have the capability to produce good research articles.

5.2.2 Suggestions for Further Research

Below are suggestions for those interested in conducting research in the area of grammatical


Due to the relatively few studies on interpersonal and further fewer on textual metaphor,

it is suggested that future research focus more on one of these types of grammatical metaphor.



experiential type. New focus of study is recommended if future researchers are interested to

investigate this area.

To increase time effectiveness, it is recommended that future researchers deploy software

for analyzing the occurrence of grammatical metaphor at a clause level. Using software would

minimize the time devoted to the scrutiny of grammatical metaphor cases particularly if the study

uses large corpus.

It is also suggested that future researchers pay more attention to the authenticity of the

participants’ writing. Cases of plagiarism in particular would bring another important

consideration to be included in the research. This may lead to broader insights into the students’

knowledge in writing since plagiarism might be due their poor ability in paraphrasing. The

inclusion of this aspect into research will bring further pedagogical implications for students’

writing improvement program.

Finally, even though text analysis using systemic functional grammar has high reliability

as proposed by linguists working in the area, using interview as a triangulating method in the




Bengston, V. L. and S. M. MacDermid. 2010. “How to Review an Article”. In National Council of Family Relations. Avilable Online:, Retrieved: April, 20th 2010

Bordens, K.S and B.B. Abbott. (2008). Research Design and Method: A Process Approach. Singapore: McGraw Hill.

Briones, S, L. Fortuny, S. Sastre, and M.B de Pocovi. (2003). “Grammatical Metaphor in Scientific English” in The ESPecialist, Vol. 24/2, pp. 131-142

Butt, D. et. al. (2003). Using Functional Grammar: An Explorer’s Guide. National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research: Macquaire University

Byrnes, H. (2009). “Emergent L2 German Writing Ability in a Curricular Context: a Longitudinal Study of Grammatical Metaphor” in Linguistics and Education 20/1, pp. 50-66

Christie, F. (2002). “The Development of Abstraction in Adolescence” in M. Schleppegrell and M. C. Colombi (eds.) Subject English, pp. 45-66

Christie, F. and B. Derewianka. (2008). School Discourse: Learning to Write across the Years of Schooling. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Cohen L. and L. Manion. (1994). Research Method in Education. London: Routledge.

Chengyu, L. (2008). “The Stylistic Value of Grammatical Metaphor in English Metalinguistic Texts: A Functional-Cognitive Stylistic Perspective” in C. Wu, C.M.I.M. Matthiessen, and M. Herke (eds.) Proceedings of ISFC 35: Voices around the World. Sydney: the 35th ISFC Organizing Committee, pp. 383-389

Colombi, C.M. (2006). “Gramamtical Metaphor: Academic Language Development in Latino Students in Spanish”. In H. Byrness (ed.), Advanced Language Learning: The Contributions of Halliday and Vgotsky. London: Continuum

Connole, H. (1990). Research Methodology 1: Issues and Methods in Research. Victoria: Deakin University.

Dawson, C. (2009). Introduction to Research Methods: A Practical Guide for Anyone Undertaking a Research project. London: How to Books.

Deakin University Study Support. (2010). Essay Writing. Available online at:



Derewianka, B. (2004). Exploring How Text Work. Victoria: McPherson's Printing Group.

Edling, A. (2006). Abstraction and Authority in Textbooks: the Textual Paths towards Specialized Language. Unpublished PhD Disertation. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Eggins, S. (1994). An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Pinter.

Emilia, E. (2005). A Critical Genre-Based Approach to Teaching Academic Writing in a Tertiary EFL Context in Indonesia. Thesis Dissertation: University of Melbourne.

Emilia, E. (2008). Menulis Tesis dan Disertasi. Bandung: Alfabeta

Engle, M. et. al. (2010). How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography. Olin Reference, Research and Learning Service. Available Online at: , Page Accessed: March, 28th 2010

Feez, S. and H. Joyce. (2000). Writing Skills: Narrative and Non-Fiction Text Types. Putney: Phoenix Education

Foley, J. A and Chen, Y. (2005). “Problems with the Metaphorical Reconstrual of Meaning in Chinese EFL Learners’ Expositions.” In L.J. Ravelli and R.A. Ellis (eds.) Analyzing Academic Writing: Contextualized Frameworks. London: Continuum, pp. 190-209

Gardner, S. (2007). Genre Families of Assesed Students’ Writing: in the Context of QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualification in England. University of Birmingham. Available Online:

Gardner, S. (2008). "Mapping Ideational Meaning in a Corpus of Student Writing". In Jones, C and E. Ventola(eds.) New Developments in the Study of Ideational Meaning: From Language to Modality. London: Equinox, pp. 169-188.

Gay, L. R. (1992). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Application. New Jersey: Macmillan Publishing Company.

Gerot, L. and P. Wignell. 1994. Making Sense of Functional Grammar. New South Wales: Antipodean Educational Enterprises

Halliday, M. A.K (1985). Spoken and Written Language. Hongkong: Oxford University Press.

Halliday, M. A.K (1994). An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Edward Arnold.

Halliday, M.A.K. (1998). “Things and Relations: Regrammaticising Experience as Technical Knowledge,” in J.R. Martin and R. Veel (eds.), Reading Science. London: Routledge



Halliday, M.A.K and C.M.I.M Mathiessen (2004). An Introduction to Functional Grammar 3rd Edition. London: Edward Arnold

Halliday, M.A.K. and J.R. Martin (1993). Writing Power: Literacy and Discursive Power. London: Falmer

Halliday, M.A.K and R. Hasan. (1985). Language, Context and Text: Aspect of Language in a Social Semiotic Perspective. Victoria: Deakin.

Hillier, H. (2004). Analysing Real Texts: Research Studies in Modern English Language. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hood, M. (2009). "Case Study". In J. A. Heigham, and R. A. Croker (eds.) Qualitative Research in Applied Linguistics: A Practical Introduction. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 66-90

Hyland, K. (2004). Genre and Second Language Writing. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press.

Hyland, K. (2008). “Persuasion, Interaction and the Construction of Knowledge: Representing Self and Others in Research Writing” in International Journal of English Studies, Vol. 8 (2), pp. 1-23

Hyland, K. and J. Milton. (1997).“Qualitative and Certainty in L1 and L2 Students’ Writing” in Journal of Second Language Writing, 6 (2), pp. 183-205

Johns, A. M.. (1993). “Written Argumentation for Real Audiences: Suggestions for Teacher Research and Classroom Practice” in Siberstein, S. et. al. (eds.) in Tesol Quarterly 27 (1), pp. 75-90

Kan, P.F. (2009). Linguistic Analysis of English Language Writing of University Students in Hong Kong. Unpublished PhD Dissertation: City University of Hong Kong

Kawashima, K. (2004). Interpersonal Relationships in Japanese and Australian Women’s Magazines: A Case Study. Proceedings of the 2004 Conference of Australian Linguistic Society

Knapp, P. and Megan W. (2005). Genre, Text, Grammar: Technologies for Teaching and Assessing Writing. Sydney: UNSW Press.

Lazaratone, A. (2009). “Discourse Analysis” in Heigham, J. and R. A. Croker (eds.) Qualitative Research in Applied Linguistics: A Practical Introduction. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.242-262

Lipsone, M. (2004). Exploring Functional Grammar: A Course-book. Bologna: University of Bologna.

MacMillan, J.H. and S. Schumacher. (2001). Research in Education: A Conceptual Introduction. New York: Longman.

Martin, J.R. (1985). Factual Writing: Exploring and Challenging Social Reality. Victoria: Deakin University



Martin, J.R. (1995). “Interpersonal Meaning, Persuasion and Public Discourse: Packing a Semiotic Punch.” In Australian Journal of Linguistics, pp. 33-67

Martin, J.R. (1997). “Waves of Abstraction: Organizing Exposition” in Miller, T. (ed.)

Functional Approaches to Written Text: Classroom Applications. Washington: USIA,

pp. 244-260

Martin, J.R. et. al. (1997). Working with Functional Grammar. London: Hodder Arnold

Martin, J.R. and D. Rose. (2007). Working with Discourse: Meaning beyond the Clause. London: Continuum

Martin, J.R. and D. Rose. (2008). Genre Relations: Mapping Culture. London: Equinox

McCabe, A. (1999). Theme and Thematic Patterns in Spanish and English History Texts. Unpublished PhD Dissertation: Aston Univerity.

Merriam, S. (1991). Case Study Research in Education: a Qualitative Approach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Miremadi, S.A. and F. Jamali. (2003). “Interpersonal Grammatical Metaphor in the Written Discourse of the Social and Natural Sciences” in IJAL Vol. 6/2, pp. 69-86

Monodofacto. (2010). Different types of Writing Assignment. Available Online at: Page Accessed March, 28th 2010

Motta-Roth, D. (2009). “The Role of Context in Academic Text Production and Writing Pedagogy.” In Bazerman, C. et. al. (eds.) Genre in a Changing World. Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press, pp. 317-336

Procter, M. The Book Review or Article Review. University of Toronto. Available Online:; Retrieved: April, 20th 2010

Nunan D. and K.M. Bailey. (2009). Exploring Second Language Classroom Research. Canada: Heinle Cengage Learning.

Oshima A. and A. Hogue. (1981). Writing Academic English: A Writing and Sentence Structure Workbook for International Students. Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company

Ravelli, L.J. (1999). “Metaphor, Mode and Complexity: An Exploration of Co-Varying Patterns” in M. Berry et. al. (eds.) Monographs in Systemic Linguistics Number Twelve. Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University



Ravelli, L.J. (2005). “Signaling the Organization of Written Texts: Hyper-Themes in Management and History Essays. In Ravelli, L.J. and R.A. Ellis (eds.) Analyzing Academic Writing: Contextualized Frameworks. London: Continuum, pp. 104-130

Ravelli, L.J. (2007). “Integrating Theory and Practice” in A.M. Simon-Vanderbergen, M. Taverniers and L.J. Ravelli (eds.) Grammatical Metaphor: Views from Systemic Functional Linguistics.

Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 37-64

Rose, D. (2008). “Book 5: Selecting and Analysing Text”. In Reading to Learn: Accelerating Learning

and Closing the Gap.

Saenz, F.S. (2000). “Halliday’s Grammatical Metaphor, Conceptualizatioin and Linguistic Construal”. In EPOS XVI, pp. 497-522

Salager-Meyer, F. (1996). "I Think that Perhaps You Should: A Study of Hadges in Written Scientific Discourse." In T. MIller (ed.) Functional Approaches to Written Text: Classroom Application. Washington: USIA, pp. 105-118

Schleppegrell, M. J. (2005). “Technical Writing in Second Language: the Role of Grammatical Metaphor” In L.J. Ravelli and R.A. Ellis (eds.) Analyzing Academic Writing: Contextualized Frameworks. London: Continuum, pp. 172-189

Schleppegrell, M.J. (2009). Language in Academic Subject Areas and Classroom Instruction: What is Academic Language and How Can We Teach It? Available Online: Retrieved: March, 13th 2010

Schleppegrell, M.J., M. Achuagar and T. Oteiza. (2004). “The Grammar of History: Enhancing Content-based Instrucction through a Functional Focus on Language.” Available Online Retrieved 6th August, 2011

Seidel, J.V. (1998). Qualitative Data Analysis. Available online on: Page accessed: March, 1st 2010

Silverman, D. (2005). Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook. London: Sage.

Swales, J. M. (1990). Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Glasgow: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J.M. and Feak, C.B. (2008) Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills. Michigan: the University of Michigan Press

Travers, M. (2001). Qualitative Research through Case Studies. London: Sage.



pp. 5-33Taverniers, M. (2004). Grammatical Metaphor in English. Moderna Sprak: 98(1), 17-26.

Taverniers, M. (2004a). “Grammatical Metaphors in English.” in Moderna Sprak: 98(1), pp. 17-26

Taverniers, M. (2004b). Interpersonal Grammatical Metaphor as Double Scooping and Double Grounding. Available online at: page accessed: January, 12th 2010

Thibault, P.J. (1991). “Grammar, Technocracy and the Noun: Technocratic Values and Cognitive Linguistics” in E. Ventola (ed.): Trends in Linguistics Studies and Monograph 55: Functional and Systemic Linguistics – Approaches and Uses. The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 281-306

Thompson, G. (2003). “The Elided Participant: Presenting an Uncommonsense View of the Researcher’s Role.” In Simon-Vanderbergen, A.M, M. Taverniers, and L.J. Ravelli (eds.) Grammatical Metaphor: View from Systemic Functional Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 257-278

Tweddle, W. (2009). Referencing Correctly. London: Queen Mary University. Available Online: Page Accessed: March, 29th 2010

Unsworth, L. (2000). “Investigating Subject-Specific Literacies in School Learning.” in Unsworth, L. (ed.) Researching Language in Schools and Communities. London: Cassel, pp. 245-274

Veel, R. (1998). “The Greening of School Science: Ecogenesis in Secondary Classrooms” in J.R. Martin and R. Veel (eds.), Reading Science. London: Routledge

Wang, X. (2007). Grammatical Concepts and Its Application in Foreign Language Teaching. Available online: retrieved 12/09/2010

Wehmeyer, D. (2010). Summary Writing. Available Online at:, Page Accessed on March, 28th 2010

Xu, J. (2009). “Interpreting Metaphor of Modality in Advertising English” in English Language Teaching

Vol. 2/4 Available Online Retrieved 9

December, 2010


Table 3.1 Texts Used in the Present Study Semester 2

Table 3.1

Texts Used in the Present Study Semester 2 p.15
Table 3.2 Writing Assignment Labeling

Table 3.2

Writing Assignment Labeling p.16
Table 3.3 Ideational Metaphor (Halliday, 1998)  Semantic Type

Table 3.3

Ideational Metaphor (Halliday, 1998) Semantic Type p.17
Table 3.4 Sample Analysis of Ideational Metaphor

Table 3.4

Sample Analysis of Ideational Metaphor p.18
Table 5.1 Grammatical Metaphor Effect on the Texts’ Written Language Characteristics Written Language Characteristics

Table 5.1

Grammatical Metaphor Effect on the Texts’ Written Language Characteristics Written Language Characteristics p.24


Related subjects :

Scan QR code by 1PDF app
for download now

Install 1PDF app in