Lexicogrammar and ecolinguistics

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

The Routledge handbook of ecolinguistics

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



Taylor and Francis


Lexicogrammar (mis-)represents the ‘natural’ world through original metaphors, disputed terms, affective terms, conventional metaphors and conventional lexis. More important, the typical transitive material process clause, reflecting canonical event structure, marginalizes nature as part of the setting and represents nature as passive. Analysis of the environmental report State of the World 2012 reveals a semantics of grammar conforming to such a representation, except when nature provides for humans. By contrast, Wordsworth’s and Edward Thomas’s poetry represents nature as powerful actor-communicator and vital experience by means of ergative verbs, activation of experiences and tokens/existents and personification and coordination, problematizing the human/nature division. The Algonquin language Blackfoot’s more radical noncanonical event grammar emphasizes process and better reflects the insights of modern science.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9781315687391



Recommended Citation

Goatly, A. (2017). Lexicogrammar and ecolinguistics. In A. F. Fill & H. Penz (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of ecolinguistics (pp. 227-248). New York: Taylor and Francis.

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