As Fate Would Have It : A corpus-based study of Fate from an American perspective

by Kanmert, Sofi

Abstract (Summary)


This essay is based on an investigation carried out with the help of the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). Taking the system of transitivity as its theoretical base and using spoken and written discourse as its primary source, this study aspired to find out what kinds of actions Americans perceive Fate to perform, for example physical, mental or verbal, in order to control what happens to people. It also aimed to reveal what actions people are said to perform in their attempts to control Fate. Do Americans deem Fate capable of, for instance, “deciding”, “talking” or “conspiring” and do they say that people, for example, “challenge”, “defy” or “defeat” Fate? Furthermore, a comparison was made in terms of the actions performed by Fate and people between the different domains of discourse represented in the corpus: spoken, fiction, magazine, newspaper and academic.

Among other things, this investigation shows that in American discourse both Fate and people are perceived to resort to physical strategies rather than mental or verbal ones in their endeavor to control one another.


Bibliographical Information:


School:Mälardalens högskola

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:fate discourse analysis transitivity processes systemic functional linguistics corpus of contemporary american english coca language engelska språket languages and språkvetenskap


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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