INVESTIGATING MATERIAL CLAUSES IN THE IGBO LANGUAGE
This paper investigates material clauses in the Igbo language. Material clause is one of the six kinds of clauses that account for transitivity. The investigation is based on the theoretical framework of Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) developed by Halliday. Systemic Functional Grammars is organized into three modes of meaning - experiential mode, textual mode and interpersonal mode. The system of transitivity is the focus of the experiential mode. Both paradigmatic and syntagmatic aspects of the experiential grammar of the Igbo language clause are investigated. Data used in the analysis were generated by the author, who is a native speaker of the Igbo language, from oral utterances. The data are categorized into participant and process, which are core elements of transitivity system on the perspective of SFG. As expected, the investigation confirms that material processes in the Igbo language are verbs of actions and happenings. The processes have Actor, Goal and Beneficiary in addition to Circumstance as participants. While the Actor is an obligatory participant, Beneficiary, Goal and Circumstance are optional participants. On the difference between doing and happening material clauses, it is observed that while the Actor inputs the required energy for the realization of the process, and impacts on the Goal in some Actor + Process configurations; the Process rather impacts on the Actor in some instances of Actor + Process configurations of doing material clauses. Moreover, in a happening material clause, the process is represented as a happening and the Actor serves as the medium through which the happening is actualised.
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