Friday, 27 June 2014

The Rôle Restrictions For Sensing, Saying And Doing

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 58):
These rôle restrictions represent a kind of metaphysics of English transitivity. For example, according to English, ideas and locutions cannot act on things, but there is no general restriction on what kinds of things may act on other things. Not only persons, but also inanimate things and abstractions may kill people (a figure of doing): the rifleman/the rock/his stupidity killed cousin Henry.