Pattama Patpong

Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University, Thailand

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An Analysis of Generic Structure Potential of Some Selected Austroasiatic Folktales: A Preliminary Report


This paper is concerned with a linguistic exploration of some selected Austroasiatic folktales. It draws on Systemic Functional Linguistics to investigate the discourse structure of some selected Austroasiatic folktales.  In this current research, a Generic Structural Potential or text structure of some selected Austroasiatic folktales is proposed. The Generic Structure Potential is a generic (or schematic) structure of texts as they unfold through time (Hasan, 1984a/1996). In this paper, some linguistic features (i.e., lexicogrammatical patterns) involved in constituting the selected Austroasiatic folktales’ Generic Structure Potential are discussed. The data for this study were drawn from eight Austroasiatic folktales. They were taken from secondary sources (e.g., theses’ appendices, field notes).  This paper opens with a brief of theoretical concepts of systemic functional linguistics (Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004; Matthiessen, 1995). This is followed by the notion of Generic Structure Potential. A step by step of analysis of the Generic Structural Potential is presented. The Generic Structural Potential of the selected Austroasiatic folktales is discussed. A brief discussion on semantic properties of Placement Event is introduced. Finally, some lexicogrammatical patterns that constitute the semantic properties of the Placement Event are discussed.



Halliday, M. A. K. and Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen. 2004. Third edition. An introduction to functional grammar. London: Edward Arnold.

Hasan, Ruquiya. 1984a/1996. “The nursery tales as a genre.” Nottingham Linguistic Circular. 13: 71-102. (Reprinted in Hasan, Ruquiya. 1996. Ways of Saying: Ways of Meaning. London: Cassell.)

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 1995. “Lexicogrammatical cartography: English systems.” Tokyo: International Language Sciences Publishers.