DOI: 10.5176/2251-3566_L317.62

Authors: Mengyan Zhao and Yi Zhang

Abstract: Based on transitivity system in Halliday's Systemic-Functional Grammar, this paper aims to conduct transitivity analysis of American President Donald J. Trump’s inaugural address in 2017. A combination of quantitative method and qualitative method is applied to explore the distribution and functions of six transitivity process in the inaugural address. It is found that among the six processes, material processes (68.6{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465}) highly dominate the speech. Relational processes (15.7{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465}) ranks the second, followed by existential processes (6.4{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465}), behavioral processes (5.0{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465}) and mental processes (3.6{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465}), while verbal processes (0.7{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465}) seldom appear in the speech. The study also shows that the distribution of six processes reflects different functions of each process. President Trump frequently uses material processes to paint a bleak picture of America, to describe new actions the government will take and to call for unity, loyalty, and patriotism. He also uses relational processes to lay out a new vision for America. Existential processes has been employed to catch people’s attention to the challenges of the country, making them take the action of rebuilding a new America. Through behavioral processes, Trump conveys his concern for America, Americans. He uses mental processes to touch the emotional side of the people and to influence people so that they will support his policies. Trump’s inaugural address gives us a hint about his political ideology.

Keywords: transitivity analysis, process types, Donald J.Trump’s inaugural address

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