عنوان مقاله [English]
A Study of Grammatical Metaphor in Fiction for Two Age Groups A and D
Assistant professor of Linguistics, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran
Atefeh Sadat Hokmabadi
M.A. in General Linguistics, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran
Metaphor involves transference and substitution. In a chapter of his book, Halliday (1985) uses the term grammatical metaphor as a type of metaphor complementing lexical metaphor. Grammatical metaphor is a substitution of one grammatical class or structure by another, but with a similar grammatical meaning for both (Halliday, 1994: 312). Grammatical metaphor can be considered a supplement to lexical metaphor. Lexical metaphor uses lexical substitution to create a new meaning, while grammatical metaphor uses structural substitution for this purpose. In other words, the use of a new grammatical structure instead of another can create a new meaning. Halliday proposed the term grammatical metaphor and divided it into three parts, namely, ideational, interpersonal and textual.
Methodology, Review of Literature and Purpose
This study seeks to explore and compare the type and frequency of grammatical metaphors in texts for two age groups of “A” (children) and “D” (teenagers) in order to determine the growth rate of grammatical metaphors from kids to young adults as well as the most frequent type of these metaphors.
A total of 37 volumes of books from among the works of Afsaneh Shabannezhad for the two age groups were randomly selected. Among these books, 28 volumes were children’s story books and 9 volumes were adolescents’.
Torr and Simpson (2003) found out that grammatical metaphor is significantly related to literacy development, since children's spoken language lacks complex lexicogrammatical patterns, including grammatical metaphors. Using a systematic functional approach, this study explored the metaphorical forms that children use in communication and also the social semiotic environment in which these forms are interpreted.
Nabi-far and Kazemzad co-authored an article entitled "Types of Grammatical Metaphors in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2013) to explore the relationship between adult writing and grammatical metaphor. They investigated the salient features of grammatical metaphor by comparing the metaphorical forms with main forms, and considered grammatical metaphor to be a tool for adult language.
The theoretical framework of this study is functional linguistics and the descriptive-analytical method was used for data analysis. First, all the grammatical metaphors used in the texts, including ideational (nominalization and transitivity), interpersonal (mood and modality), and textual grammatical metaphors were extracted from the books of each age group. Then the clauses in each book were counted. The final percentage of grammatical metaphors, considering the number of clauses as a whole, was one hundred. In the next step, the frequency of each type of grammatical metaphor (ideational, interpersonal and textual) was compared with that of the other two types while taking into account the number of all the grammatical metaphors in each text as a whole. Finally, these values were presented in separate tables, and then the prose texts of the two age groups were compared and analyzed in frequency charts.
Examples of metaphors in books for age group A:
“The ladybug had got used to having fun” (Shabannejad, 2001: 25). In this clause, the nominal form of the verb "having fun" has been used to function metaphorically.
“Get up; didn’t you want to help me?” (Shabannejad, 2011: 21). In this sentence, a modal metaphor is used, as an interrogative clause has been used to function as an imperative clause.
Examples of various metaphors in books for age group D:
“The alleys were drowned in moans and shouts” (Shabannejad, 2007: 14). In this clause, the existential process of existence is expressed in the form of the material process of drowning and thus functions as metaphorical.
“Were you in my shoes, would you leave people?” (Shabannejad, 2007: 34). In this clause, the interrogative mood has been used to function as the indicative mood, implying that he will not leave the people.
The numbers of grammatical metaphors in the stories for age group A and the age group D were 27.41 and 77.15, respectively. Also, the percentages of grammatical metaphors in the kids’ story books for ideational, interpersonal and textual metaphors were 25.54, 8.06 and 66.4, respectively, while those for the teenage group were 43.1, 4, and 52.13, respectively.
The results demonstrated that more grammatical metaphors were used in adolescents’ texts than in children’s texts. This difference was not limited to frequency, as the adolescents’ texts had used a greater variety of metaphors than the children’s texts. The research findings show that, in general, fewer metaphors had been used in children’s books, which can be justified by imagining that this age group's level of comprehension had been taken into consideration by the author. Moreover, the widespread use of metaphors in adolescents’ books prevents the over-simplicity of the texts and adds variety to their language. Therefore, maintaining this pattern in the use of grammatical metaphor can be considered a text-reader connection factor. Grammatical metaphor can be seen as a means for a more serious and scientific view when it comes to children. They can be used as a measure of judging the classification of child-related works into different age groups. Furthermore, their use in child studies can pave the way for scientific studies in the fields of child psychology, childcare, child education, and developing standards for children's books and products.
Keywords: grammatical metaphor, Halliday, systemic functional linguistics, child and adolescent fiction, Afsaneh Shabannezhad
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