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 ……….
BIBLIOGRAPHY ………. APPENDICES……… APPENDIX 3.5: SAMPLE OF RESEARCH ARTICLE……… APPENDIX 3.6.1: SAMPLE ANALYSIS OF IDEATIONAL METAPHOR (SA.3C) APPENDIX 3.6.2: ANALISYS OF INTERPERSONAL METAPHOR ………. APPENDIX 3.6.3: SAMPLE ANALYSIS OF TEXTUAL METAPHOR (S2C)……... APPENDIX 4.1: DISTRIBUTION OF GRAMMATICAL METAPHOR IN THE
RESEARCH ARTICLES ……… APPENDIX 4.2: DISTRIBUTION OF GRAMMATICAL METAPHOR IN THE
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.
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
Student 2 1 SA2.A
Student 3 1 SA3.A
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
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
[3.2] 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.
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
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
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.
5.2.1 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
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