Publication details [#5498]

Halliday, M.A.K. 1998. On the grammar of pain. Functions of Language 5 (1) : 1–32. 32 pp.
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The lexicogrammar of every natural language is (among other things) a theory of human experience, a resource whereby experience is transformed into meaning. One of the most challenging areas of human experience is that of pain. If we investigate the grammar of pain in modern English, using evidence from a corpus, a short text, and paradigms of typical expressions in everyday speech, we find that pain is categorized in varying ways, as process, quality and thing, and construed as various different kinds of process. This variation constructs pain as a uniquely complex domain of experience, one that cannot be located within any simply defined region of semantic space. (Michael Halliday)