Textual Functions of the English Verbal Group

Roseline Abonego Adejare


The description of the English verbal group has primarily focused on its formal elements, whereas natural language is form and situation. This paper exemplifies some of the textual functions of the verbal group using data from spoken instructional texts recorded in selected secondary schools in Lagos, Nigeria. Four subjects (Christian Religious Knowledge, Geography, Physics and Chemistry) and four teachers were involved in the study. The corpus size was 17 600 words and the data comprised 3 069 verbal groups. Each verbal group was carefully examined to determine its textual function(s) using situation-induced elements of natural language. Twenty-seven textual functions (e.g., describing entities) were identified. Present tense, BE, and imperative mood respectively expressed 74, 56 and 41 per cent of the functions. Although there was function overlap, this study has confirmed the fact that the formal features of the verbal group currently known grossly under-represent its textual functions in natural language.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/elr.v1n2p153


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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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