Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Verbal Processes That Project Proposals: Beneficiary

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 306n):
Order, promise and other such processes can be construed with a Beneficiary.  With promise this Beneficiary is the Receiver of a ‘verbal’ clause, but with order this Beneficiary is more like the Client of a ‘material’ clause denoting the creation of goods or the performance of a service; for example: You felt alright on Friday ’cause you ordered yourself a nice big pizza (cf. you ordered a nice big pizza for yourself). Here the ‘Receiver’ would be represented like a circumstance: you ordered yourself a nice big pizza from the waiter.

Monday, 16 July 2018

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Verbiage As The Content Of What Is Said

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 306):
It may be the content of what is said; e.g. your family in But when people describe your family, they don’t talk about your nephews and nieces; … The Verbiage may construe the topic of what is said, as with describe your family above; as the following clause illustrates, this type of Verbiage is close in meaning to a circumstance of Matter (talk about your nephews and nieces). If the verbal process is one that projects goods-&-services rather than information, like order or promise, the Verbiage refers to these: e.g. a steak in I ordered a steak, those earrings in those earrings were promised to another customer.

Sunday, 15 July 2018


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 306):
The Verbiage is the function that corresponds to what is said, representing it as a class of thing rather than a report or quote; e.g. what in What did you say?

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Receiver: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 306):
The Receiver is the one to whom the saying is directed … The Receiver may be Subject in a clause that is ‘receptive’ … The Receiver is realised by a nominal group typically denoting a conscious being (a potential speaker), a collective or an institution; the nominal group either occurs on its own or is marked by a preposition — almost always to but sometimes of.  The range of realisational possibilities depends on the lexical verb of the verbal group realising the Process …

Friday, 13 July 2018

Verbal Clauses: Distinctive Patterns

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 306):
[Unlike ‘behavioural’ process clauses] ‘verbal’ process clauses do display distinctive patterns of their own. Besides being able to project … they accommodate three further participant functions in addition to the Sayer: (1) Receiver, (2) Verbiage, (3) Target. The first two of these are ‘oblique’ participants.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Behavioural Clauses: Not So Much A Distinct Process Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 306):
… ‘behavioural’ process clauses are not so much a distinct type of process, but rather a cluster of small subtypes blending the material and the mental into a continuum …

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Verbal Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 306):
In certain respects, ‘verbal’ clauses are thus like ‘behavioural’ ones, exhibiting certain characteristics of other process types — tense like ‘material’ or ‘relational’, ability to project like ‘mental’.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

For Non-Conscious Sayers: Tense Like Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 305):
However, the simple present also occurs in a more ‘relational’ sense of ‘expresses the opinion that’, as in She says she prefers cigarettes to fish.  And when the Sayer is realised by a nominal group denoting a symbol source other than a human speaker, the tense selection is more likely to be more like that of a ‘relational’ clause, as in the study says that such a diversified village structure produces a dualistic pattern of migration. Here the ‘present in’ is unlikely: the study is saying that ... would not occur.* While such clauses are still clearly ‘verbal’, they are closer to ‘relational’ clauses than are ‘verbal’ ones with a human speaker as Subject.

Blogger Comments:

* This is overstating the case, since the study is saying that ... could easily occur, especially in a spoken exchange where there is disagreement about what the study is saying.

Monday, 9 July 2018

For Conscious Sayers: Tense Like Material Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 305, 305n):
The verb may be unaccented as in a ‘relational’ clause or accented as in a ‘material’ one. The tense is also in a sense intermediate between that of ‘material’ clauses and that of ‘relational’ ones. When the Sayer is realised by a nominal group denoting a conscious speaker, the tense selection may be like that of a ‘material’ clause, with the simple present indicating habit or generalisation (i.e. an extended ‘now’) and the present in present indicating the narrower period of time; and the present in past often indicates simultaneity, just as it does with ‘material’ clauses. … The present can alternate with the past in conversational narratives just as it can with ‘material’ clauses …

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Verbs Of Saying

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 305):
The Process of a ‘verbal’ clause is realised by a verbal group where the lexical verb is one of saying: see Table 5-25.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Reported Locutions: Speech Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 304):
The projected clause may be either (a) a proposition, realised by a finite clause, as in Mr Deshmukh said that some dissidents had met him and asked him whether they should vote according to their conscience or discretion; or (b) a proposal, realised by a perfective non-finite clause, as in Bush urges China to release crew; … The proposal may be expressed alternatively by a modulated finite clause: Yet somebody told me that I mustn’t repudiate my non-fiction …

Friday, 6 July 2018

The Phylogenesis Of Reported Locutions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 304):
In Old English, the structure was he said/thought that: he was not hungry, with that as a demonstrative in the ‘verbal’ or ‘mental’ clause ‘pointing’ to the clause representing the reported content of saying or sensing (see e.g. Hopper & Traugott, 1993). This demonstrative came to be reanalysed as a structural conjunction introducing the reported clause; but the reported clause itself remained outside the structure of the reporting clause – it has not been incorporated through downranking (in contrast with ‘fact’ clauses). Thus we would not expect to find such reported clauses serving as the Subject of a ‘receptive’ ‘verbal’ or ‘mental’ clause; for example, that he was not hungry was said/thought by him is highly unlikely.*

Blogger Comment:

* But note instances like It was said that Feynman played the bongos, where the projected clause looks like the embedded postposed Subject of was said.  Note also agnate instances like Feynman was said to have played the bongos.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Projected Clauses Vs Facts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 303-4):
The status of the reported and quoted clause is analogous to that of an ‘idea’ clause introduced by a ‘mental’ clause: it is … not rankshifted, and in this respect such clauses differ from rankshifted ‘fact’ clauses serving as the Phenomenon of a ‘mental’ clause.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The Functional Status Of Quoted And Reported Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 303):
What about the function of  to keep quiet, it’s half past ten? In formal grammar what is said is treated as a ‘noun clause object of the verb say’, meaning a clause that is rankshifted by nominalisation. But functionally this clause is not rankshifted; it functions as the secondary clause in a ‘clause complex’, being either (a) directly quoted, as in (he said) ‘I’m hungry’, or (b) indirectly reported, as in (he said) he was hungry. This means that such sequences consist of two clauses. (Only the primary clause is a ‘verbal’ one, of course; the other may be a process type of any kind.)

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Verbal Processes = Symbolic Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 303, 304):
‘Saying’ has to be interpreted in a rather broad sense; it covers any kind of symbolic exchange of meaning, like the notice tells you to keep quiet, or my watch says it’s half past ten. The grammatical function of … the notice, my watch is that of Sayer. 
… unlike ‘mental’ clauses, ‘verbal’ ones do not require a conscious participant. The Sayer can be anything that puts out a signal … In view of the nature of the ‘Sayer’, verbal processes might more appropriately be called ‘symbolic’ processes …

Monday, 2 July 2018

Behavioural Verbs Serving As Verbal Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 302):
… while ‘behavioural’ clauses do not ‘project’ indirect speech or thought, they often appear in fictional narrative introducing direct speech, as a means of attaching a behavioural feature to the verbal process of ‘saying’.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Behavioural Processes: The Anomalous Verb ‘Watch’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 302):
The verb watch is anomalous: in I’m watching you, the tense suggests a behavioural process but the you appears as a participant, like the Phenomenon of a ‘mental’ clause.  Since this is restricted to watch, we can label this participant as Phenomenon, indicating the ‘mental’ analogue.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Behavioural Processes: Orientation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 302):
Some [behavioural processes] also regularly feature a prepositional phrase with to, at or on: I’m talking to you, don’t look at me, fortune is smiling on us.  These are in origin circumstances of Place; in the behavioural context they express orientation, but we may continue to use that label.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Behavioural Processes: Associated Circumstances

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 302):
Certain types of circumstance are associated with behaviour[al] processes: those of Matter with [near mental and near verbal types] e.g. dreaming of you, grumbled about the food; Manner with the remainder, e.g. breathe deeply, sit up straight.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Examples Of Verbs Serving As Process In Behavioural Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 301, 302):
The boundaries of behavioural processes are indeterminate; but we can recognise the kinds set out in Table 5-24 as typical.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Behavioural Processes: Agency & Range

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 301):
Behavioural processes are almost always middle; the most typical pattern is a clause consisting of Behaver and process only, like Don’t breathe!, No one’s listening, He’s always grumbling. A common variant of these is that where the behaviour is dressed up as if it was a participant, like she sang a song, he gave a great yawn; this structure is typical in the everyday spoken language. The participant is analogous to the Scope of a ‘material’ clause (both being manifestations of the general function of Range); we shall call it Behaviour.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Behavioural Processes: Unmarked Present Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 301):
The usual unmarked present tense for behavioural processes is present in present, like the material (e.g. you’re dreaming!); however, we also find a simple present in its unmarked sense (i.e. not meaning habitual), e.g. why do you laugh?, alongside why are you laughing? (with scarcely any difference between them), which suggests an affiliation with a mental.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Behavioural Processes: “Senser Doing”

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 301):
The participant who is ‘behaving’, labelled Behaver, is typically a conscious being, like the Senser; the Process is grammatically more like one of ‘doing’.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Behavioural Processes: Why The Least Distinct Process Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 301):
These are processes of (typically human) physiological and psychological behaviour, like breathing, coughing, smiling, dreaming and staring. They are the least distinct of all the six process types because they have no clearly defined characteristics of their own; rather they are partly like the material and partly like the mental.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Three Subsidiary Process Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 300):
We can then go on to recognise three subsidiary process types, located at each of the boundaries: behavioural at the boundary between material and mental, verbal at the boundary between mental and relational, and existential at the boundary between relational and material.

Friday, 22 June 2018

The Three Principal Process Types: Material, Mental, Relational

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 300):
They are the principal types in that they are the cornerstones of the grammar in its guise as a theory of experience, they present three distinct kinds of structural configuration, and they account for the majority of all clauses in a text (‘material’ and ‘relational’ seem to be roughly balanced in frequency over the language as a whole, followed by ‘mental’, although the pattern varies considerably among different registers).

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Possession As A Circumstantial Relation [Language Typology]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 297):
In principle, possession can be thought of as another kind of circumstantial relation, which could be embodied in some such expression as ‘at Peter is a piano’, ‘the piano is with  Peter’. Many languages [e.g.Irish] typically indicate possession by circumstantials of this kind. The nearest English is the verb belong; compare the dialectal form is along o’me.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Possessive Identifying Clauses: Possession As Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 296):
Some verbs combine the feature of possession with other semantic features; for example
  • exclude ‘[negative] + have’,
  • owe ‘have on behalf of another possessor’,
  • deserve ‘ought to have’,
  • lack ‘need to have’. 
(Most verbs meaning ‘come to have’, on the other hand, function as Process in ‘material’ clauses; for example get, receive, acquire — compare the tense forms in You deserve a medal. – I’m getting one.)

Monday, 18 June 2018

Possessive Identifying Clauses: Possession As Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 296):
In addition to possession in the usual sense of ‘owning’, this category includes abstract relationships of containment, involvement and the like.  Among the verbs commonly occurring in this function are include, involve, contain, comprise, consist of, provide.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Possessive Identifying Clauses: Possession As Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 246):
Here the possession is encoded as a process, typically realised by the verb own as in Peter owns the piano. (Notice we do not normally say Peter has the piano, in the sense of ownership; have is not used as an identifying verb of possession.) The participants are possessor Peter and possessed the piano; in this case Peter is Token and the piano is Value.