American Journal of Linguistics

p-ISSN: 2326-0750    e-ISSN: 2326-0769

2018;  6(3): 41-47



Systemic-Functional Linguistics in the Analysis of LGBT Population Representativity

Iran Ferreira de Melo1, Natanal Duarte de Azevedo1, Renata Barbosa Vicente1, Djalma Albuquerque de Hollanda Wanderley2

1Unidade Acadêmica do Cabo de Santo Agostinho, University Federal Rural of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil

2Faculdade Frassinetti do Recife, Recife, Brazil

Correspondence to: Iran Ferreira de Melo, Unidade Acadêmica do Cabo de Santo Agostinho, University Federal Rural of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.


Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Scientific & Academic Publishing.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).


In the present study, we display results from an analysis of the Transitivity System as a mechanism for the representation of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people in the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. Our aim is to reflect upon the representationalist potential of such grammatical resource, so as to understand how the most read newspaper outlet in Brazil depicts this group of social actors who are historically marginalized from their social and human rights. We selected all the news issued by the publication about the LGBT Pride Parade, from 1997 until 2012, and we analyzed sentences about people who are characterized by the news outlet as LGBT, regarding how the Transitivity System components are manifested, according to the Systemic-Functional Linguistics (SFL), proposed by Michael Halliday and Christian Matthiessen [1]. Then, we interpreted the results intending to analyze how the representation of the LGBT is constructed and which implications such construction might bring. In order to summarize such study, we divided our discussion into two moments: first, we explain what the Transitivity System is; then, we socialize the results; finally, we develop a brief observation on the effect of our findings contrasted with the LGBT sociopolitical circumstances in Brazil.

Keywords: Systemic-Functional Linguistics, LGBT Population, Representativity

Cite this paper: Iran Ferreira de Melo, Natanal Duarte de Azevedo, Renata Barbosa Vicente, Djalma Albuquerque de Hollanda Wanderley, Systemic-Functional Linguistics in the Analysis of LGBT Population Representativity, American Journal of Linguistics, Vol. 6 No. 3, 2018, pp. 41-47. doi: 10.5923/j.linguistics.20180603.01.

1. Introduction

This article describes part of the intellectual and methodological research entitled LGBT activism in the Brazilian press: a critical analysis of the representation of social actors in the Folha de S. Paulo. Such study consists in the analysis about how homosexuals – lesbians and gays –, bisexuals and transgender people – trasnvestites, transsexuals and intersexs – (LGBT) individuals historically excluded from their social rights, are represented in the printed newspaper with the largest circulation from Brazil, Folha S. Paulo. The material that composed the corpus of work was comprised of news about the event called LGBT Pride Parade, collective action organized in São Paulo city by people who defend the assurance of equality rights to LGBT. These are texts about all editions of this event (1997-2012), and published on and a later date at which it occurs.
From analysis of these data, our research proposes to investigate the discourse produced through these news, describing and interpreting resources lexicogramaticais potentially capable of to produce representations of the actors involved in the Parade, especially the LGBT population, to understand the construction of meanings generated from these representations.
Therefore, this investigation follows the assumptions of critical epistemologies of contemporary linguistic studies, particularly those minted inside the Critical Discourse Analysis, from which we can reflect about the role of language as a constitutive element of social practices, and thus as a component of reproduction or transformation of society. In addition, to support the comprehension of the categories lexicogramaticias that we analyzed, the research leaned on analytical postulated coined by Systemic Functional Linguistics, specifically the work of Michael Halliday and Christian Matthiessen (2004 [1]) about verbal groups, expressed through of Transitivity System.

2. Transitivity Systems and Its Potential for Representation

For traditional grammar, Transitivity is situated within the verb, and not within the clause: transitive verbs are those whose process is transmitted to other elements, which will complete its meaning, and intransitive verbs will instantiate actions which will not go beyond such verbs (Cunha & Cintra [2]). According to this idea, the classification of a verb as transitive or intransitive will be supported by a nominal group demanded by the meaning of the verb. Within the functional grammar studies, such resource is approached as a complex grammatical system, involving different morphosynthatic and semantic-pragmatic aspects, and its use enables us to organize our cognitive and empirical human experiences (Heberle, [3]; Cunha & Souza, 2007 [4]).
Such system, as conceived by SFL, allows the identification of human actions and activities being expressed in the discourse and the reality being depicted, since the means we use to talk about our experiences and the existing things within and around us is language. This identification is performed through the main components of transitivity: the Process, the Participant and the Circumstance. Such elements correspond, in general, to the three word classes found in most languages – verbs, nouns and adverbs – and allow the analysis of who does what, to whom and in which circumstances (Halliday & Matthiessen [1]).
According to Halliday & Matthiessen [1], the Processes are the components responsible for codifying actions and events, establishing relations, expressing ideas and feelings, constructing the act of speaking and existing; they are performed by verbs or verb groups. According to the linguists, the Participants are the elements associated with the processes, in a mandatory way or not, and are performed by nominal groups, which may produce the action – representing who acts, feels, exists, speaks, and is found in a certain state – or which are, in some way, affected by this action – thus, who receives the action, the one who feels, the one who is spoken about, etc. Circumstances are, in accordance to the authors, additional information attributed to the different processes, which are performed by adverbs or adverbial groups, expressing how, when, or where something happened.1 The example below shows such elements.
Table 1. “Parada gay altera domingo na Paulista” – Gay pride parade alters Sunday in Paulista (FSP-06/13/04)2
This example shows that “Parada gay” (Participant 1) performs the action of “alterar”, which falls onto “domingo” (Participant 2) and is located “na Paulista” (Circumstance). Out of these components, Process holds a central spot in the clause, since we realize the representational value of the discourse from it. According to Halliday & Matthiessen [1], there are three main types of processes: Material, Relational and Mental, which constitute a group predominantly present in clauses expressing the three basic instances of experience, respectively: (1) actions and events, (2) states and abstract relations within the real world and, yet, (3) mental records of out interior experience. Complementing such aspects of experience, the authors named three other processes as secondary: Verbal, Behavioral and Existential. Verbal Processes express ways of saying or construct such “saying”; Behavioral ones express physical and psychological behaviors; Existential ones are the representation of something that exists or happens.
Material Processes refer to physical and perceptive external actions, and are those through which we do something (they are doing processes), represented by verbs such as “break”, “organize”, “congest”. They are responsible for the execution of a sequence of concrete actions capable of expressing the construction or destruction of something. Besides, they are very important for the attribution of meaning within the representation of ascension towards and fall from power among individuals. Its participants are Actor, Goal, Range, Recipient, and Client (Halliday & Matthiessen [1]; Eggins [5]).
The Actor is the one performing the action itself, the inherent participant, whether it be a transitive or intransitive clause, and the Goal is the participant towards which the Process is directed, the one who is effectively affected by the action.
Range, Recipient and Client are optional Participants. Because of this, some Material Processes involve two or more Participants, and other involve just one. Hence the importance of establishing a distinction between Intransitive clauses, which have only one participant (“em São Paulo, a parada gay cresceu” – “in São Paulo, the Gay Price parade has grown” [FSP-06/29/98]), and Transitive clauses, which have two or more participants (“4ª Parada do Orgulho GLBT que vai tomar hoje a avenida Paulista” – “4th GLBY Pride Parade will take over Paulista avenue today” [FSP-06/25/00]). Transitive Clauses codify experiences such as “someone does something towards someone else” and, because of that, they answer the question “What do we do to, with, for or against the other?”. Besides, they may appear in the passive form. Intransitive ones codify experiences such as “someone did something” and answer the question ”What do we do?”.
Range is a participant that completes the action, specifying it. It is not affected by the verbal action and may refer to the lengthening of the process. The Recipient and the Client occur in very diverse contexts. The Recipient is present in clauses which denote the transference in the possession of goods or information. Thus, the Recipient turns into the entity which performs the possession of the good or the information. The Client tends to occur in Material Processes which denote creativity. This happens because this participant represents the entity towards which something is done or made.
Halliday & Matthiessen [1] classify Material Processes into two types: Creative – those which represent the production of someone (follow, organize, start) – and Transformative – those which denote change and alteration in the reality represented (color, destroy, cut).
Mental Processes, on the other hand, deal with human appreciation towards the world, and relate to the representation of feelings, perceptions and thoughts, many times expressed by verbs such as “know”, “love”, “calculate”. This means that these processes refer to actions which do not take place in the material world; rather, they unravel in our thinking realm. Through its analysis, it is possible to detect beliefs, values and desires represented in a text. Halliday & Matthiessen [1] divide these processes into four subtypes: Cognition, which is related to decision-making and understanding (“know”, “understand”, “think”); Perception, which refers to the observation of phenomena (“feel”, “see”, “hear”); Affection, related to feelings (“like”, “love”, “hate”); and Desire, regarding aspirations (“want”, “desire”, “wish”). Clauses presenting Mental Processes answer the question “What do we feel, think or know?”. The participants in this type of process are the Senser and the Phenomenon. The former indicates in whose mind the process is taking place, and the later corresponds to the element perceived/felt by the Senser.
Relational Processes aim at relating (as the name suggests) two representational entities in the discourse, classifying them or identifying them. In general, they are performed by the well-known connecting verbs (such as “be”) and by the verb “have”. Halliday & Matthiesen [1] highlight three main types of such processes:
1. Intensive, when a characteristic is attributed to an entity (A is B);
2. Circumstantial, when a Circumstance is related to an entity (A is at B);
3. Possessive, when possession is established between two entities (A has B).
Each one of these types may be classified in two different ways:
1. Attributive – where an entity is the attribute of the other;
2. Identifying – where an entity is the identity of the other.
In the Intensive Attributive Processes, we can find two participants: the Carrier, which represents the element classified, and the Attribute, which indicates the classifying element. According to Halliday & Matthiessen [1], one of the main characteristic of such processes refers to the fact that the nominal group with the function of Attribute constructs a generic and undefined class, which may be preceded by undefined articles. In accordance with such authors, these processes may express three types of meanings, specifying (1) the members of a category, (2) the phase of attribution and (3) the domain of the attribution.
Regarding the first type of meaning, an Intensive Attributive Process places the Carrier in the condition of member of a category linguistically performed by the Attribute.
Regarding the second type of meaning, the Relational Intensive Attributives mean relations which are developed through time, instead of representing a static situation. They highlight an attribution phase, showing the Carrier transforming into the Attribute or in a member of the Attribute.
Finally, with the third type of meaning, when specifying the domain of the attribution, the Attributive Intensives may represent both elements related to the internal (subjective) experience of the speakers and the elements connected to their external (empirical) experiences, thus not only expressing meanings associated to domains subjectively created, but also those objectively observed. Such elements are lexicalized through the Attribute.
The Relational Intensive Identification Processes characterize an entity as the identity of the other. They count on two participants categories: the Identifier, a defining element also known as Value, and the Identified, who is the target of the identification and is also called Token. According to Halliday & Matthiessen [1], such category of Relational Processes presents as a defining aspect the fact that the nominal group which performs the Identifier is usually a defined element, which may be accompanied by a definite article.
The Circumstantial Attributive Processes operate very similarly to the Intensive Attributive ones, because the Circumstance works as an Attribute. In the Circumstantial Identifying Processes, however, the circumstantial element needs to relate two entities and is performed through the Identified element.
The Relational Possessive Processes demonstrate a relationship of possessiveness between the two participants called the Possessor and the Possessed. When they are performed in the Attributive mode, these processes present the Possessed which, in general, demonstrate value aspects. However, when they are characterized as Identifying, they expose the Possessed while identifying the Possessors, establishing what they possess.
Behavioral Processes are responsible for the construction of human behaviors which will be composed of psychological (hear, watch), physiological (breathe, sleep) and verbal (talk, gossip) activities. They are, generally speaking, partly acting and partly feeling actions. Similarly to the Mental ones, the Behavioral Processes demand at least one of its Participants to be an animated or personified character. They have as Participants the Behaver (who is a mandatory participant), the entity who performs the action, and the Behavior, which defines the scope of the process.
Verbal Processes represent actions of saying, communicating and pointing out, coded by verbs such as “speak”, “comment” and “affirm”. They are characterized by relations constructed within the mind and expressed in the linguistic form. There are four participants: the Sayer (an inherent participant in the process), who performs the action, therefore it communicates, says or points something out; the Addressee, an optional participant at whom the Verbal Process is aimed; the Target, another optional participant, which represents the entity approached by the process, and the Verbiage, which is what codifies what has been said, or else, the message as it is.
According to Caldas-Coulthard [6], the use of such processes receives another categorization, which is pertinent in a study on representation, since it acts in the location of the actors involved in the represented practice. These might be:
a) Neutral, those which do not express anything but the illocutionary act (“say”, “tell”, “talk”);
b) Structural, those which characterize the structure of the interaction (“ask”, “answer”, “complete”);
c) Illocutionary Performative, those which interpret the speech act, naming the speaker’s proposition and always meaning something beyond the act of speaking. They are divided into: Assertive, or else, those which translate an assumed truth by the Sayer (“admit”, “believe”, “deny”), Directive, those which reveal the intention of the Sayer (through orders, suggestions and requests, for example) and conduct the Addressee into acting accordingly (“Prohibit”, “tell”, “inquire”) and Commissive, verbs which indicate the commitment of the Sayer (“promise”, “propose”, “intend”).
At last, the Existential Processes are those which represent something existing or happening, and its propositions are performed typically, in the Portuguese language, by the processes “there to be” and “exist”. They mobilize only one type of participant, the Existent.

3. Description of the Analysis Results

Amongst all sentences in which we verified the participation of lexical items characterizing LGBT, those formed by Material Processes were the most seen, which is a demonstration of how, in our data, this group received a bigger amount of representation through physical activities, which were susceptible to be visualized and which directly affect someone or something. We verified 360 cases of clauses with Material Processes (“gather”, “take”, “attract”). Among those, 80 are Intransitive clauses and 280 Effective clauses (as present, respectively, in the examples “no ano passado participaram 500 pessoas” – “last year, 500 people participated” [FSP-06/29/98] and “Parada Gay atrai 20 mil manifestantes em São Paulo” – “Gay Pride Parade attracts 20 thousand demonstrators in São Paulo” [FSP-06/28/99]).
We also noticed that LGBT were placed as Actors in 221 records (such as “Gays, lésbicas, bissexuais e transgêneros fazem ato para cobrar união civil e leis contra discriminação” – “Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders perform act to demand civil partnership rights and laws against discrimination” [FSP- 06/25/00]); as Goals in 129 clauses, (according to the example “a parada aglutina todos os segmentos do mundo gay” – “the parade agglutinates all segments of the gay world” [FSP-06/27/99]); as Recipients in 9 cases (as seen in “a passeata foi animada por sete carros alegóricos, uma bandeira de 50 metros de comprimento com as cores do arco-íris [...] e centenas de balões coloridos” – “the parade was cheered up by seven floats, a 50-meter rainbow-colored flag […] and hundreds of colored balloons” [FSP-06/28/99]); and as Clients in 3 clauses (such as “o professor universitário Jean Wyllys [...] respondia aos gritos histéricos dos fãs” – “university professor Jean Wyllys […] answered to the hysterical chants of his fans” [FSP-30/05/05]). There was no case observed where LGBT were placed as Scope.
Results also show us that 185 records correspond to clauses in which LGBT take the role of Actor in creative actions, consistently in the condition of Actors who affect their own cultural contexts (for example, “cinco grupos de homossexuais vão comandar [...] uma caminhada na avenida Paulista” – “five groups of homosexuals will command […] a walk in the Paulista avenue” [FSP-06/28/97]) and 36 other records point out this very function of LGBT in transformational actions (as seen in “os manifestantes planejam também quebrar CDs do cantor Tiririca” – “demonstrators also plan to break CDs released by singer Tiririca” [FSP-06/28/97]). Under the light shed by such results, one can see that the LGBT appear as individuals who are majorly capable of producing something, agent subjects of many activities, although it is done in such a way where they do something about the surroundings of their own field of action, rather than modifying something within the society in general.
Among the occurrences of Mental Processes involving the LGBT, we detected 31 records. Out fo these, 19 are related to Cognition, 3 correspond to Perception, 7 to Affection and 12 to Desire. The following excerpts exemplify such uses respectively: “Os manifestantes planejam também quebrar CDs do cantor Tiririca” – “Demonstrators also plan to break CDs released by singer Tiririca” (FSP-06/28/97); “Rogério vestiu-se de freira e ficou coberto da cabeça aos pés, para não ser reconhecido por familiares” – “Rogério dessed as a nun and covered himself from head to toe, so he wouldn’t be recognized by family members” (FSP-06/23/03); “‘Fui em todas as edições e adoro o clima’” – “I went to all the parades and I love the vibe” (FSP-06/17/06); “homossexuais querem reunir 100 mil hoje” – “homosexuals want to gather 100 thousand today” (FSP-06/25/00). For these cases, there are 26 records in which LGBT play the part of Experiencers in phenomena related to their own cultural universe and 8 cases in which they take the function of Experiencers in phenomena related to others. On the first situation, these subjects are predominantly Experiencers of Cognition Mental Processes (“a drag queen Duda Mendonça acredita que a realização e o crescimento da parada são uma ‘vitória’ para a comunidade gay” – “drag queen Duda Mendonça believes the execution and the growth of the parade are a ‘victory’ for the gay Community” [FSP- 06/22/03]) and, on the second one, of Affection Mental Processes (“muitos têm medo de passear nas ruas de São Paulo e preferem a segurança do shopping” – “many are afraid of walking on the streets of São Paulo and prefer the safety of the mall” [FSP-06/10/07]). Besides, we verified 3 situations in which the context elements of the LGBT acting take the role of Phenomenon of other actors, having the Cognition Mental Process in two out of the three (such as “Polícia Militar estima que 200 mil pessoas participaram da quinta edição do evento” – “Military Police estimates that 200 thousand people participated in the fifth edition of the event” [FSP-06/18/01]).
Such results highlight the fact that LGBT as Participants in clauses with Mental Processes are represented in our data predominantly as Experiencers of actions connected to cognition. However, such actions are held consistently as ways of thinking their own practices, which, in most cases, is being connected to the process of planning the Pride Parade. Thus, the results point us towards a certain type of image related to LGBT which values their mental activities; however, only in few cases such activities involve other actors, which may seem to the reading audience the representation of an egocentric behavior.
Regarding clauses with Relational Processes, LGBT were found 140 times. Categorized as Attributive Intensive, 66 cases were recorded (such as in “o público estava tímido” – “the audience was shy” [FSP- 06/27/99). Out of these, we found 44 clauses where LGBT are presented as Carriers and 22 where such actors are Attributes. In some cases, these actors are Attributes in clauses where they are also Carriers, and, in most cases, the Attributes are adjectives characterizing positive aspects and, constantly, depicting tenderness and joy characteristics (“fun”, “happy”, “joyful”). On the other hand, the Identifying Intensives were found in 43 cases (such as in the excerpt “Número é o triplo do registrado em 98”- “The number is the triple of what was recorded in 98” [FSP-06/28/99]). Among those, LGBT were represented as a Token for 26 times and 17 times as Value. In the cases where these actors take the role of the token of a Value which does not correspond to anyone identified as LGBT, the Participants who are considered Value are usually connected to the Pride Parade elements (“floats”, “Parade motto”, among many others).
As far as the Attributive Circumstancials, we could confirm 6 records (such as “no primeiro [trio], estarão o comando da Associação da Parada e convidados especiais” – “on the first [float] is where the command of the Parade Association and special guests will be” [FSP-06/22/03]), and all of them correspond to clauses where the LGBT take the theme role of Carrier. The Identifying Circumstantials appear 8 times in our data (for example, in “ainda estamos no caminho da profissionalização” – “we are still on our way towards professionalization” [FSP- 06/27/99]), out of which 5 times with the LGBT in the role of Token and 3 in the role of Value. The Attributive Possessive are seen in 4 clauses which present the LGBT as Participants. Out of these, 2 bring records of LGBT as Possessers and the other 2 bring the LGBT as Possessed. At last, throughout the total of clauses with Possessive Relational Processes (such as in the excerpt “os organizadores [...] avisam que a parada é de todos que lutam por direitos humanos” – “organizers […] warn that the parade is for everyone who fights for human rights” [FSP-06/25/00]), we observe 22 cases, where 16 point out LGBT as Possessers and 6 as Possessed. Out of these cases, 8 records present the LGBT as Possessers of their partners and of elements associated to the Parade.
Thus, it is possible to understand that the major part of the LGBT representations with Relational Processes involve these actors in the condition of Carriers of Attributive Intensives, and many of those, as previously seen, in the condition of Attribute Carriers which denote happiness and pleasure. Clauses such as “Leandro veio disposto a abrir a carteira” – “Leandro came willing to open his wallet” (FSP-06/10/07) and “‘Mostraremos aos outros como somos divertidos!’” – “We will show the others how fun we can be!” (FSP-06/10/12) may indicate how such actors are treated.
As far as the Behavioral Processes go, the LGBT may be seen in 27 clauses, usually instantiated by verbs such as “parade”, “scream”, “sing” and “dance” (for example, in “os participantes cantaram o ‘Hino à Diversidade’ e a ‘Ave Maria’” – “participants sang the ‘Diversity anthem’ and the ‘Hail Mary’” [FSP-06/18/01]) and most part of those (11 cases) are structures in Intransitive clauses (such as is “manifestantes [...] dançavam ao som de Ivete Sangalo, Cazuza e Cássia Eller” – “demonstrators […] danced to the sound of Ivete Sangalo, Cazuza and Cassia Eller” [FSP-30/05/05]). Through such clauses, these actors take the place of the Behavers 10 times, in situations where the Behaved are either themselves or elements related to them (such as in “Toronto, no Canadá, [...] contou 850 participantes” – “Toronto, in Canada, […]had 850 participants” [FSP-22/06/03]) and there are no times where the Behaved are other actors. Besides, it was verified that, in 5 of the situations presented, the LGBT act as Behaved of actors whose identities are different from their own (as in, for example, “o arquiteto Luiz Antônio Cesário, 41, levou a filha Maria Julia, 8, para ver a festa” – “architect Luiz Antonio Cesario, 41 years old, took his daughter Mara Julia, 8 years old, to see the party” [FSP-03/06/02]). Such data shows us, similarly to the cases where LGBT are presented through Material clauses, that these actors, when reported in the News through Behavioral processes, present themselves predominantly as action agents, but in the clauses where there is an object affected by their action, such object will identify was being a part of the Parade surroundings.
Concerning Verbal Processes, we can notice the presence of the LGBT in 77 clauses (such as “Pereira afirmou ainda que, em uma reunião com a PM na quarta-feira, recebeu garantia de segurança” – “Pereira also affirmed that, in a meeting with the Military on Wednesday, there was a safety guarantee” [FSP-06/28/99]), with some of them working as indicators of direct quotations (as seen in “‘queremos um artigo específico para o ódio, que defina o crime e as penalidades’, disse Jesus” – “’we want a specific article for the hate, which will define crime and penalties’, said Jesus” [FSP-06/25/00]). Out of this number of cases, 60 are clauses in which the LGBT take the role of Sayer of something related to themselves or their peers (“no trio elétrico da Amam [...] Mana, 62, dizia nunca ter visto parada gay com tamanha participação de mulheres” – “in the Amam music float [...] Mana, 62 years old, said she had never seen the gay parade with such a Strong women presence” [FSP-05/30/05]) and in no case the LGBT are Sayers dealing with subjects related to others. There is also no record to demonstrate the LGBT taking the role of Addressee or Target. However, we observed 13 clauses where the LGBT are involved in the constitutive Verbiage, cited as a message issued by an actor who is not LGBT (for example, in “a Polícia Militar [...] falava em 2 milhões” – “Military Police […] said 2 million” [FSP-06/11/07]).
Out of these cases, we recorded 39 occasions where the LGBT take the place of Sayers in Processes considered Neutral (such as in “a atual organização já anunciou que, em 2004, haverá um tema direcionado aos idosos e adolescentes” – “the current organization has already announced there will be a theme related to the elderly and teenagers in 2004”), 3 clauses in which they act as Sayers in Structural Processes (for instance: “‘A melhor forma de os empresários apoiarem a parada não é estar nela, é oferecer o melhor serviço para quem vem à cidade. [...]’, completa Almada” – “The best way for the businessmen to support the parade is not to be in it, but rather to offer the best service they can to those who come to the city. […] completes Almada” [FSP-06/14/09]) and 21 cases where these actors are represented as Sayers of Illocutionary Processes: 20 Assertives and 1 Commissive (respectively in: “São Paulo [...] sedia maior evento homossexual do mundo, afirmam organizadores” – “São Paulo […] hosts the biggets homosexual event in the world, organizers assert” [FSP-06/14/04] and “a maioria dos religiosos [...] está propondo um hino pela paz” – “most religious people […] are proposing an anthem for peace” [FSP-06/27/11]).
Besides the classifications observed in the aforementioned theory, we also found 3 cases of Verbal Processes which mean proclamatory and behavioral actions at the same time. Two of those are seen making an agglutination of both meanings through the verb “to joke”, for example, in: “‘[...] Essa parada faz com que a de Amsterdã pareça sem graça’, brincou ele, já enturmado” – “’[...] This parade makes the one in Amsterdam seem dull’, he joked, already feeling at home”(FSP-06/14/04). And the other one presents both meanings in a juxtaposition way, when exposing what the actors says while behaving a certain way: “perguntou, enquanto tascava em Mathilde um beijo tão casto quanto os ‘selinhos’ de Hebe Camargo [...]” – “asked, while planting a kiss as chaste as Hebe Camargo’s ‘liplocks’” (FSP-05/30/05). With these cases, one can see the double activity of the LGBT, both as Sayer and Behaver, at different instantiation levels. However, we did not delve into this analysis due to the small number of cases; it is however important to consider such records, in order to highlight such lexicogrammar possibilities of performances.
According to the aforementioned data on the Verbal Processes, one may notice how well-represented the LGBT are in clauses formed by such processes, mainly when playing the role of Sayer, or else, much more frequently as an announcer of something than as a receptor or subject about which others are talking. Such aspect leads to a representation which provides autonomy to these individuals. However, as we can see in our results, this autonomy is limited to messages where they are the topic themselves in acts such as “say” or “talk”, represented strictly as illocutionary actions, thus, having their purposes of announcement erased.
Finally, when it concerns Existential clauses, we verified 11 clauses with LGBT actors. Among those, the uses of “there to be” – being mobilized in excerpts of the direct speech of the speaker and also being a part of the quotations in the saying of interviewees (for example, in: “para os organizadores, havia 1,3 milhão de pessoas” – “for the organizers, there were 1.3 billion people” [FSP-06/23/03] e “‘se tem lésbica no horário nobre da Globo, seu eu pago meus impostos e sou dona do meu nariz, quem vai me proibir de vir’” – “if there are lesbians in Globo’s prime time, if I pay my taxes and I am my own woman, who will keep me from coming” [FSP-05/30/05]). If we compare those with the amount of Existing participants in the other categories (a total of 3 cases), we shall notice that, with such use of word phrasing, the LGBT received a broader focalization as subjects present in the Parade.

4. Conclusions

The results of this research point to the construction of a discourse in which LGBT are represented through of transitive clauses formed by Materials Processes, in which they occupy the function of Actor only in creative actions on Pride, receiving, less social power transformation; and through transitive clauses constituted formed by Intensive Attributive Relational Process, where they perform the function of Carriers of caricatures Attributes that qualify them as constantly spirited and irreverent.
Thus, from an interpretation of the impact of the data in the current sociopolitical situation of LGBT activism, we conclude that this discourse, for restricting the agentive ability and identity diversity of LGBT actors, point an important role of Folha in the production of meanings that affect how, in general, the society understands the LGBT movement and feed the hostile and discriminatory treatment historically addressed these social actors.


1. Despite considering circumstances to be modifying resources in the attribution of meaning in the Processes, which work, most times, as guides for the comprehension of the context within which the represented action took place, we did not include its analysis in our data. This is justified due to the objectives selected for the present research, whose focus is the description of the theme role the Participants perform as a mechanism for the construction of the representation of the social actors.
2. The biggest share of examples here presented are part of our corpus. Therefore, the indicative acronym FSP, whenever it appears, shall indicate “Folha de S. Paulo” (a famous newspaper in Brazil) and the following date shall be the one corresponding to the day the newspaper from which the excerpt was taken was issued.


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