The system of transitivity: An exploratory study of text-based profiles

Christian M I M Matthiessen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)


    This article presents a preliminary investigation of the quantitative profile of the system of transitivity, measuring the frequency of instantiation of the various transitivity options in text. In particular, it presents the relative frequencies of selections of different process types, different circumstance types and the relative frequencies of their combinations. After establishing the various frequencies of transitivity options in text, the article goes on to hypothesize that these frequencies correlate with the degree of qualitative elaboration of the options in the system of transitivity. The hypothesis is supported by a measure of systemic elaboration based on counts of prepositional and verbal senses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-51
    Number of pages51
    JournalFunctions of Language
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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