The Transitivity Process Patterns and Styles in the Characterization of the Protagonist Character in Phuoc’s “The Story of Tam and Cam”

Simon Arsa Manggala


This paper is based on the notion in Stylistics that the study focuses on language use, the purposes, and the effects (Verdonk, 2002). The data is taken from one of the stories from Vietnam. The story is selected since the plot shares similarities in terms of the plot with the popular Cinderella stories. Therefore, readers are familiar with the plot since Cinderella stories exist in many cultures and languages (Tatar, 1999). The language use is reviewed by utilizing transitivity analysis (Matthiessen & Halliday, 2004) to examine the processes in the characterization since transitivity analysis is a significant analytical tool in accounting ideational perspective systematically (Simpson, 1993). Further, the choice of processes and patterns lead to the discussion on the purposes and effects. The examination on the transitivity analysis shows that the processes employed to characterize the protagonist character are material, mental, relational, verbal, and behavioral processes. The processes might reveal particular significant to the process of characterization. For instance, material processes frequently dominate the characterization of the main character. Thus, the character is mostly characterized by what they do and what happens with them. The other transitivity processes resemble the purpose and effect based on their meanings. Hopefully, this paper might serve an example of how to examine the language patterns in a literary work to further observe the purposes and the effects of the patterns.

Keywords: folktale, stylistics, and Transitivity Analysis.

Full Text:



Black, E. Pragmatic Stylistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006.

Bottigheimer, R. B. Fairy Tales A New History. Albany: University of New York Press, 2009.

Bussman, H. Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics. New York: Routledge, 1996.

Butt, D. G., & Lukin, A. Stylistic Analysis: Construing Aesthetic Organisation. In J. J. Webster, & M. Halliday (Eds.), Continuum Companion to Systemic Functional Linguistics (pp. 190-215). London: Continuum, 2009.

Carter, R., & Simpson, P. Introduction. In R. Carter, & P. Simpson (Eds.), Language, Discourse and Literature: An Introductory Reader in Discourse Stylistics (p. 5). London: Routledge, 2005.

Cuddon, J. A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. London: Penguin Books, 1992.

Cunanan, T. B. Using Transitivity as a Framework in a Stylistic Analysis of Virginia Woolf's Old Mrs. Grey. Asian EFL Journal, 54, 69-79, 2011.

Eggins, S. An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics (second edition ed.). London: Continuum, 2004.

Haase, D. (Ed.). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales (Vol. 1). London: Greenwood Press, 2008.

Leech, G., & Short, M. Style in Fiction (second edition ed.). London: Pearson Education Limited, 2007.

Matthiessen, C. M., & Halliday, M. An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Hodder Arnold, 2004.

Phuoc, T. T. (Ed.). Vietnamese Children's Favorite Stories. Singapore: Tuttle Publishing, 2015.

Santosa, R., Priyanto, A. D., & Nuraeni, A. Genre and Register of Antagonist's Language in Media: An Appraisal Study of Indonesian Newspapers. K@ta, 16 (1), 23-36, 2014.

Sim, S. (Ed.). Routledge Companion to Postmodernism. London: Routledge, 2001. Simpson, P. Language, Ideology, and Point of View. London: Routledge, 1993.

Simpson, P. Stylistics: A Resource Book for Students. London: Routledge, 2004.

Tatar, M. (Ed.). The Classic Fairy Tales. London: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, 1999.

Toolan, M. Language in Literature: An Introduction to Stylistics. London: Routledge, 2013.

Verdonk, P. Stylistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Wulansari, A., & Waluyo, S. Meaning behind the Poem: An Analysis of Transitivity of Poems in Romanticism Period. Prosiding Prasasti (pp. 171-176). Surakarta: Program Studi S3 Linguistik PPs UNS, 2016.

Zipes, J. Why Fairy Tales Stick the Evolution and Relevance of a Genre. London: Routledge, 2006.

Zipes, J. (Ed.). The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Journal of Language and Literature - Department of English LettersUniversitas Sanata Dharma