Do Moods, Transitivity, Clause Complex and Theme – Literature review Example

The paper "Do Moods, Transitivity, Clause Complex and Theme" is an excellent example of a literature review on humanitarian.
Do Mood
Basically, linguistic moods refer to the forms of verbs that indicate an action or a fact, indicative in this instance may imply either a declarative or an interrogative mood. Similarly, linguistic moods encompass imperative verbs, those that express commands and doubt also referred to as subjunctive. The linguistic mood in the utterances portrayed in the excerpt indicates how the encoded information by the mood creator and contextual variables interact to generate the intention of the speaker. For example, in this context, the coded information is that the toothpaste should not be swallowed and the contextual variable is the danger associated with doing so. The doctor indicates a declaration that swallowing a large amount of toothpaste is harmful.

The interrogative mood employed in excerpt displays a correlation between various structures of commencing move and the structure of responding move (Eggins 2004). This is shown in the sentence structure “I know you are not supposed to swallow toothpaste, but is there any danger if you do?” The question is a commencing move which compels the doctor to respond. Similarly, according to Eggins (p. 333), the elliptical structures displayed in the dialogic mode of the extract establish linguistic mood which technically comprises of distinct roles which include subjects (S) and respondent (C). The subject, represented by the speaker, in this case, resumes the role of the questioner while C responds. Although S is controlling the direction of the conversation at the beginning, his role is undermined as events unfold and C occupies the stage to steer the talk for a prolonged period. This is seen as the doctor takes the stage to explain the effects of swallowing a large amount of toothpaste. 

Transitivity
Transitive verbs are action words that require an object. In this case, an object refers to the part of a sentence that receives the action of verbs, also known as subjects. From a syntactic point of view, transitive clauses are verbs or clauses that have a direct impact on the object. Transitive clauses are categorized into prototypes and non-prototype clauses. The prototype transitive clauses indicate agentivity where the subjects have a volitional impact on the objects. This is shown in the structure of the extract where the patient willingly asked the doctor if swallowing toothpaste has detrimental implication. Prototype transitive clauses also point the degree of affectedness. This can be depicted from the explanation given by the doctor when he says swallowing large amounts of kinds of toothpaste can cause problems. Non-prototype transitive verbs conform to the syntactic structure where a direct recipient of the action or direct object is required. This aspect is also well evident in the excerpt. The clause, ‘larger amount of toothpaste’ receives direction action of being swallowed by some people.

Clause complex
According to Eggins (p. 255), systematists use the term clause complex describe semantic units or grammatical structures that are made up of two or more clauses joined together in meaningful ways. Tan (pp 26) observes from the perspective of light systematic functional linguistics, clauses are grammatical resources for three language metafunctions which consist of conveying information, construing the world and legislating social roles. Eggins (pp.255) explains that cause complexes boundaries are separated by full stops. From the extract, clause complexes have been used to perform a linguistic function of conveying information. This is presented in the extract when the doctor says “However, some people apparently deliberately swallow large amounts of toothpaste. That can cause problems”.

Tam (pp. 26) points it out that clauses have three meanings which include, ideational, textual and interpersonal. In addition, Eggins (pp. 256) argue that clause complex systems enable language users to interpret the connection linking experiential events. The logical meaning contained in this system works together with the experiential structure of transitivity to enable language user to convey ideational meanings as life is turned into text. The interrelation of clauses in the extract displays a logico-semantic where the ideologies presented in the case are logical and portray semantic characteristics. The logico-semantic relationships consist of expansions which are made up of enhancement, extension and elaboration, and projection which is made up of locution and ideas (SFG pp1). Most forms of logico-semantic relationship are well presented in the extract. For instance, the locutions show a relationship of reported speech and are denoted by speech marks (“). This is observed in the instance where the doctor reports the question previously asked by a patient.

Theme analysis
From a semantic point of view, themes are sections of clauses upon which information is given. Following the structure of active voice sentences, semantic themes are often the subject of the clause. In essence, the theme can be viewed as the general information presented in a sentence and usually occupies the first section of the sentence. In the sentence “A patient once asked me….,” the noun patient becomes the theme of the whole sentence as the remaining part is going to talk about the patient. Ideally, themes play two significant roles within a sentence. One is to connect back to a past discourse and to provide a foundation upon which the discourse is further developed. This is evident in the excerpt as the doctor connects to the past ordeal between him and a patient and uses it to develop the context.

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