A Corpus-based Transitivity Analysis of Nilopher’s Character in The Stone Woman

  • Muhammad Ilyas Mahmood Centre for English Language and Learning, University of Okara, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Ahmad Hashmi University of Okara, Pakistan
Keywords: Transitivity Analysis, Characterization, Language Choices, Participants, Processes


The present study focuses on the use of transitivity as a tool to explore characterization. Transitivity works as a tool to analyze the depiction of people's actions at a broader level (Halliday, 1994). A significant number of studies have been done using the system of transitivity in understanding the narratives to highlight the ideological function of language (Rashid, 2016). The objective of the current study is to use the device of transitivity in highlighting the character of Nilopher in the novel "The Stone Woman". The corpus of the novel has been tagged using Stanford Log-linear Parts of Speech (POS) tagger and the list of verbs has been extracted. Each verb has been marked with its respective process 'material', 'mental', 'behavioral', 'verbal', 'relational' or 'existential'. After it, each verb has been analyzed in its particular clause using concordance. The clause structure analysis of each process shows that Nilopher has been portrayed as an assertive character. The grammatical choices of the writer help us to conclude the fickle and lustful nature of Nilopher. Moreover, it has been concluded that the character of Nilopher is developed as an emotional character with tender but corrupt nature, and covet behavior. The combination of material process verbs with specific goals and circumstances elements lead us to perceive her tender but corrupt nature. Furthermore, the transitivity analysis of mental and behavioral process verbs, explores her covet and yearning behavior. The current study is important pedagogically to understand literature with logic and evidence because transitivity analysis establishes a demonstrable fact. It will also help the writers to apply the system of transitivity with an intelligent use of language choices in portraying characters and discourse of social interaction.