Saturday, 15 December 2018

Initiator + Actor vs Actor + Goal

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 351-2):
Putting the two analyses together, we would expect to find that these two types of clause are not identical, but that there is no clear line between them; and that is precisely the case. One difference is whether or not there can be an analytic causative with make: we can say the police made the bomb explode, but not the lion made the tourist chase. But this leaves many uncertain: what about Mary made the boat sail, the nail made the cloth tear? — and, with a different verb, the lion made the tourist run? The distinction becomes somewhat clearer if we ask whether, if the second participant is removed, the rôle of the first participant changes. In the sergeant marched the prisoners/the sergeant marched, it clearly does; it is now the sergeant who is doing the marching (cf. the police exploded, which we now have to interpret in a transferred sense) – whereas in the lion chased no such interpretation is possible. Those where the rôle changes will have Initiator + Actor rather than Actor + Goal.