Monday, 22 October 2012

Cline Of Animacy

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 326-7):
Here again the grammar makes a categorical distinction: (a) conscious things, which are those referred to as he/she, (b) non-conscious things, those referred to as it. … while there is a clear foundation in the world of experience, with people at one end and inanimate or abstract objects at the other, many things (like non-human animals) lie in between; and, as always, the grammar is free to construe the world as it pleases.  The conscious/non-conscious distinction can also therefore be looked at as a cline …