European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies (EJELLS)

EA Journals

A Systemic Functional Linguistic Analysis of Spousal Conflictual Language in a Nigerian Play


This paperx-rayed language use drawn from excerpt of utterances by the spouses (characters) in the play, Clark’s The Wives’ Revolt anchoring on the Hallidayan Systemic functional linguisticas the theoretical framework known for analysing language structure and function. The purpose of this study is to reveal the experiential representation of conflictual language of the spouses in J.P. Clark’s Wives’ Revoltsthrough its transitivity processes. Twenty – nine (29) excerpts that depict the spousal conflictual lexico-grammatical forms are purposively selected from these plays after thorough readings and they are represented accordingly for easier referencing during analysis in order to determine the frequencies of the transitivity features, their roles, functions, and meanings. A qualitative method is used for data analysis. Results from descriptive analysis showed that spouses applied four (material, mental relational and verbal processes) out of six Hallidayan’s transitivity process types to express their experiences/actions feelings for each other, negative image of themselves, and their central point of argument during their conflictual interactivity. The result showed that experiential is construed through dominance of material process, followed by mental, relational, and verbal. The prevalence of the material is found to be as a result of spouses’ more of physical actions in their relations. Again, transitive verb which transfers action to an object is also found more prevalent and is used more by the male spouse. This reveals male dominance of power over his female counterpart. The occurrence of the transitive processes will help the reader to agree with the kernel structure of the conflicting issues.

Keywords: Conflict, Processes, experiential meaning, lexico-grammar, systemic functional linguistic, transitive system

cc logo

This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License


Recent Publications

Email ID:
Impact Factor: 7.23
Print ISSN: 2055-0138
Online ISSN: 2055-0146

Author Guidelines
Submit Papers
Review Status


Scroll to Top

Don't miss any Call For Paper update from EA Journals

Fill up the form below and get notified everytime we call for new submissions for our journals.