Ecological Discourse Analysis of an UN Environmental Story in Terms of Transitivity Process

Heng Gong, Lingling Liu


With the rapid development of our economy, the ecology issues are becoming more and more important. In order to raise people’s ecological awareness, I conducted this empirical study on the transitivity analysis of a story (Our Way of Life Is Piling Pressure on Ecosystems) from the website of the United Nations Environment Programme. By analysing and comparing the distribution and percentage of different transitivity process in this story, what we can find are:1) the main processes are material process (60.9%) and relational process (21.7%), followed by the behavioural process (8.7%), verbal process (4.3%), and existential process (4.3%); 2) most of the more-than-human beings influenced by human beings are in the passive position, and few of them are in the positive position; 3) no matter what position the more-than-human beings are in, they are always the victims of human beings’ activity. Based on the above findings, this story can be regarded as a beneficial discourse, and we should promote and spread it as it can encourage people to protect environment.


Ecolinguistics, Systemic Functional Grammar, Transitivity Analysis, Discourse Analysis, UN Environmental Story

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