Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 317-8):
Space includes not only concrete space, but also abstract space. Abstract space covers a range of experiential domains that are construed on the model of space; … the construal of abstract space often involves a ‘material’ process of motion through space like come, go, bring, take.
The abstractness is a feature of the clause as a whole, not just a single element; but the ‘clue’ to the abstract interpretation may be a single element or a combination of elements.
- The Location itself may be an abstract one, as with … this brings us back to the purpose of this symposium …
- the participant placed in relation to the Location may be an abstraction, as with … a great sadness came over him … or
- the participant causing this participant to be placed in relation to the Location may be an abstraction as in where is all this taking us?