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Transitivity in contemporary Bahasa Indonesia: a systemic functional perspective using the verbal affix -i̲ as a test case

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posted on 2022-03-28, 15:19 authored by Francien Herlen Tomasowa
Transitivity and the meanings of the verbal affix -i̲ in Bahasa Indonesia have been analysed using various linguistic approaches. The present study uses the systemic functional approach postulated by Halliday (1967,1968,1976.1981,1985) which demands the description of a language in its own terms: considering linguistic form in terms of what it achieves in its cultural context and delaying any assumptions about grammatical categories. -- The systemic functional approach perceives transitivity in terms of paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations in the clause, and not the classification of verbs as 'transitive' and 'intransitive'. -- Through a transitional stage using English as reference point, the study reveals that there are five types of processes in contemporary Bahasa Indonesia: 'doing' . 'sensing', 'being', 'verbalizing' and 'existing'. -- From the internal language evidence available, this study reveals that the functional characteristics of the verbal affix -i̲ in the language depend on the type of: 1) base the affix is attached to ; 2) process the affix occurs in. -- Based on the influence of the two factors above, the functions of the affix can be distinguised into unifying and specific functions, the first of which is not influenced whereas the latter is. The unifying functions are as a 'dispositive marker' and an 'internal causative marker' whereas the specific functions are as a: - process former, - intensified process marker, - goal is location of action indicator, - repetitive process marker, - addition of base to Goal indicator, - deletion of base to Goal indicator, and - temporal/spatial relationship between Actor and Goal indicator. -- Using the description of the functions of the verbal affix -i̲ to revisit the proposed model of transitivity system of contemporary Bahasa Indonesia this study argues that the understaning of the functions of the verbal affix -i̲ cannot be excluded from the interpretation of the system of transitivity of contemporary Bahasa Indonesia.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Theoretical framework -- Transitivity in CBI: transitive pattern of clause organization -- Transitivity in CBI: ergative pattern of clause organization -- The reflective experiential aspect of meaning of the affix -i̲ -- Revisiting the proposed model of transitivity system of CBI -- References.


Bibliography: leaves 265-270

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, School of English and Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

School of English and Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Colin Yallop

Additional Supervisor 1

David Butt


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x, 270 leaves

Former Identifiers

mq:11017 1435528

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