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Research Article |

Causation from the Perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics

This paper explores the intricacies of causative constructions within the Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) framework, emphasizing their significance in understanding the relationship between processes and the individuals affected. Delving into diverse theoretical perspectives on causation, the study provides an overview of causative expressions, highlighting the formalist view and its proponents such as Nash and Pylkkänen. Cognitive linguists, like Langacker, contribute to the discussion with the action chain model, emphasizing the transfer of energy between entities in the causal chain. After discussing these clashing positions, the paper critiques previous studies that equate agency with causation within the transitivity system. SFL communities have also debated how causation simultaneously fits in the whole transitivity system along with the subsystems of agency and process type. This study revisits the debate and offers an overview of different positions among SFL scholars such as Lavid and Arús, and García. The relationship between agency and causation is discussed while considering the complexity of the transitive and the ergative perspectives. After fully discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the opposing viewpoints of these scholars, this paper suggests extending the agency system to include analytic and synthetic, which interact with the causation system to form analytic causation, supporting the idea of a comprehensive causation system within the transitivity system. Finally, the paper suggests future avenues for research, endorsing the incorporation of corpus-based analyses to complement qualitative approaches in understanding causative constructions fully.

Causation, Agency, Transitivity System, Systemic Functional Linguistics

APA Style

Zou, H. (2024). Causation from the Perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics. International Journal of Language and Linguistics, 12(1), 53-57.

ACS Style

Zou, H. Causation from the Perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics. Int. J. Lang. Linguist. 2024, 12(1), 53-57. doi: 10.11648/ijll.20241201.17

AMA Style

Zou H. Causation from the Perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics. Int J Lang Linguist. 2024;12(1):53-57. doi: 10.11648/ijll.20241201.17

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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