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Practical Linguistics

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Summary: A series of linguistically themed ficlets about Xander and SG-1. slash Xander/Jack.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Xander-Centered > Pairing: Other SlashAllyndraFR152531,07537211157,2792 Jun 0620 Jan 07No

Thematic Roles

Author's Notes: Okay, this chapter is something new for me - a non-chronological drabble chapter. If you hate it, let me know so I can do better in the future. If you like it, let me know so I can revel in the praise.


Thematic Roles: Semantic relationships between the verb and noun phrases of a sentence. Thematic roles identify the function the noun is performing in the sentence.


Agent: The one who performs the action.

"Xander!" Daniel shouted accusingly.

Xander held up his hands in the classic gesture of innocence. "I know this seems like something I'd be responsible for, but it wasn't me."

"Teal'c?" Jack asked. "You didn't happen to do this to us, did you? 'Cause if you did, I'm not mad. I'll give you a quick, clean death once we fix this."

"I appreciate the promise, but I am not responsible for your predicament," Teal'c replied.

Sam stood frozen in her tracks, aghast at what she’d done. Though perhaps she shouldn’t use the word ‘frozen’ in this context. She raised her hand.


Location: The place where the action takes place.

This place was unusual, perhaps unique. It had tall, bright walls and long hallways with open doorways. It did not appear dangerous, but Teal'c held his weapon ready.

On his left, Daniel Jackson and O'Neill were discussing the markings on the walls. Daniel Jackson claimed the colors and patterns must have a purpose, while O'Neill argued that their creators simply had bad taste in interior design. On his right, Major Carter was describing her recent visit with Dr. Giles to Xander Harris.

Ahead of them, the hall suddenly ended in a large room filled with strange shapes. The team stared.


Patient: The one or thing that undergoes the action, which changes its state.

Jack tried unsuccessfully to wiggle his toes. Dammit! How the hell did things like this keep happening to him? Well, to him and Daniel, he silently amended. If he made an effort, he could see Daniel's face out of the corner of his eye, though it gave him a headache.

"How you holding up, Danny?" he asked.

"I'm just swell, Jack. Thanks for asking," Daniel replied sarcastically.

"Hey, it could be worse," Xander said. "Last time I saw some one paralyzed like this, it was so a demon could eat her skin."

Could be worse: The story of Jack's career.


Theme: The target to which an action is directed.

Daniel knew there was meaning to the colors and patterns of the stripes and squares on the walls. At first, he'd thought them merely gaudy decorations, but they had been present on objects as well, and even on a sheaf of papers found in what Jack called 'the gadget room' and what Sam called 'the laboratory.'

Sam, Xander, and Teal'c had been fascinated by the various machines, but Daniel had latched onto those papers like a lifeline. He was beginning to believe the color patterns were linguistic.

"Watchya got there?" Jack asked. Daniel didn't raise his eyes. For two hours.


Experiencer: One who perceives something.

The object was shaped like a cube upon a pedestal, and if not for the buttons on one side, Teal'c would have thought it was a piece of art. The cube was grey, with a crystalline sheen; the buttons were striped in shades of green and orange. If Daniel Jackson was correct, the stripes could indicate their function.

"You pressed this one?" Teal'c asked. Major Carter nodded. Staring intently at the buttons, Teal'c saw that several contained variations on the same pattern. On one, the colors were reversed.

A warrior must be willing to take risks. Teal'c pushed the button.


Instrument: The means by which an action is performed.

Jack enjoyed tormenting Daniel. Had Daniel been immune to Jack's wit, Jack wouldn't have been nearly as glad to have the archaeologist on the team. As it was, he knew that one more well placed barb about how this place needed an episode of Trading Spaces would earn him a bespectacled glare.

Jack ignored Daniel's lecture on color significance to grin across the room at Xander, who was pestering Sam to let him play with the alien toys. Jack liked knowing they used humor the same way, to irritate and show affection.

He turned back to Daniel. "Whatchya got there?"


Causative: A natural force that causes a change.

Daniel was never going to take the ability to move for granted again. For whatever reason, the paralysis stopped at the neck, leaving him control over his face and voice. He stretched his cheeks and lips into a twisted mask, just to feel the movement.

He strained his ears, but heard nothing from the rest of the team. There was no warning before he fell. It was as though gravity had suddenly, belatedly, chosen to exert its influence. He landed in a sprawl, then rolled to his back. He tossed aside his papers and jumped up, moving just to move.


Possessor: One who has something.

So much fascinating new technology to study! Sam grinned. She started a circuit of the room, followed by Xander.

"This one looks like an ice cream cone," he said. Sam glared as he pretended to lick it. "Meanie," he accused. She had to smack his hands away from the next object, and she began to feel like a nursemaid.

"Do I have to tie your hands?" she asked.

"Kinky," he said with a smirk across the room at Jack.

Sam sighed and trailed her fingers possessively over a cube. It didn't matter if he distracted her now. She had plenty of time.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Practical Linguistics" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 20 Jan 07.

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