Semantic Apparatus – Grammatical Metaphor: In Search of Proficiency in Research Abstract Writing

Cited by Lee Sonogan

4: Grammatical metaphor as stratal tension (Martin, 2007, p.53) | Download  Scientific Diagram

Abstract by Chinwe R. Ezeifeka

Abstract writing presents problems to budding academics, especially in keeping to the generic structure and the requisite word counts by the various publishers. The article focuses on grammatical metaphor as a systemic resource for achieving proficiency in research abstract writing. Borrowing from Halliday and Matthiessen’s semantic domains beyond the clause and Halliday’s theorizing of the language of science, the article explores the various forms of transferences made possible by the grammar: from logical to experiential, from sequences to figures, elements and things, involving downgrading of linguistic units from higher semantic domains to lower ones. The resulting nominalization is seen as the single most powerful resource for effecting grammatical metaphor of the ideational type through its capacity for lexical packing. The article analyzes five randomly selected undergraduate research abstracts that exhibited an obvious lack of awareness of this systemic resource. By focusing on the sequences of figures from each abstract, comprising various numbers of clause nexuses, the article demonstrates how the judicious use of nominalization can simultaneously achieve word economy and information density, which are obvious marks of proficiency in this academic genre, and strongly recommends this grammatical strategy for students and budding academics.

Publication: SAGE Open (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: Mar 24, 2015 Doi:

Keywords: applied linguistics, linguistics, language studies, humanities, communication, social sciences, written communication, rhetoric, communication studies (Plenty more sections and references in this research article)

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