Date of Award

2013

Degree Name

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree

M.A.

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Hyo-Chang Hong

Second Advisor

Jun Zhao

Third Advisor

Benjamin White

Abstract

Typological differences between languages have been a much debated topic in linguistic studies. Despite their usefulness in understanding syntactic features of various languages, such contrastive analyses have yet to thoroughly explore semantic variation among languages; furthermore, the results obtained have not been practically utilized in other areas of applied linguistics. This situation may come from the fact that a large number of contrastive studies have eclectically examined isolated areas of language variation either from syntactic, morphological, or from pragmatic perspectives. Viewing this issue from another angle, Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) focuses on language from a multi-dimensional perspective, where language is a realization of both interpersonal, textual, and social contextual factors. In recent years, SFL has demonstrated its applicability to neglected areas in applied linguistics such as translation studies and foreign language pedagogy. On par with current SFL research into the language of various text types or genres, the purpose of this study is to investigate the ways in which the concept of causality is realized in syntactically distinct patterns and how such syntactic variations serve different discourse functions in Japanese and English academic articles. From the various realizations of causality, this thesis focuses on explicit logical and ideational causality and its lexicogrammatical realizational patterns and functions as used in published journal articles on second language acquisition. This study indicates that contrary to the current claim about the function of causality-oriented grammatical metaphors (Halliday and Matthiessen, 1999), causality and its realizational patterns are language-specific phenomenon.

Subject(s)

Linguistics in literature.

Linguistics.