Monday, 7 May 2012

Ergative Vs Transitive Structure Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 300-1):
The ergative structure is open–ended, and a further round of agency can always be added on:
the ball rolled : Fred rolled the ball : Mary made Fred roll the ball : John got Mary to make Fred roll the ball : …
The transitive structure, on the other hand, is configurational; it cannot be extended in this way. Thus, from a transitive point of view, Mary made Fred roll the ball is not a single process; it is two processes forming one complex.