Sunday, 31 December 2017

Material Clauses: Recipient & Client

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 237):
The two functions of Recipient and Client resemble one another in that both construe a benefactive rôle; they represent a participant that is benefiting from the performance of the process. The Recipient is the one that goods are given to; the Client is one that services are done for. Either may appear with or without a preposition, depending on its position in the clause … the preposition is to with Recipient, for with Client.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Material Clauses: Scope, Recipient, Client & Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 236):
Of these four participant roles, Scope is the most general across different types of ‘material’ clause … but they are all more restricted than Actor and Goal.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Material Clauses: Inherent Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 236): 
The Actor is an inherent participant in both intransitive and transitive material clauses; the Goal is inherent only in transitive clauses. In addition to these two roles, there are a number of other participant roles that may be involved in the process of a ‘material’ clause; these are: Scope, Recipient, Client and (more marginally) Attribute.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Transformative Material Clauses: Outcomes As Expansion Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 232-3):
The outcome of the transformation is an (1) elaboration, (2) extension or (3) enhancement of the Actor (‘intransitive’) or Goal (‘transitive’) …

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Systemic Valeur Of The Feature 'Transformative'

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 232):
The ‘transformative’ type of ‘material’ clause covers a much wider range than the ‘creative’ type. As always, it is difficult to find an appropriate term for the grammatical category. We have to understand it in the context of the relevant systemic contrast. Thus ‘transformative’ means that the Actor (‘intransitive’) or Goal (‘transitive’) exists prior to the onset of the unfolding of the process, and is changed in some way or other through the unfolding of the process.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

How To Tell Transformatives From Creatives [Diagnostic]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 232):
Neither happen to or do to/with can be used [as probes] with creative clauses …

Monday, 25 December 2017

Intransitive Transformative Material Clauses: Probing Actor (Medium)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 232):
The Actor of an ‘intransitive’ ‘transformative’ clause can be probed by happen to

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Transitive Transformative Material Clauses: Probing Goal (Medium)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 232):
The Goal of a ‘transitive’ ‘transformative’ clause exists before the process begins to unfold and is transformed in the course of the unfolding. It can be probed by means of do to, do with

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Transformative Material Clauses: Outcomes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 232):
In a ‘transformative’ clause, the outcome is the change of some aspect of the Actor (‘intransitive’) or the Goal (‘transitive’). … In the limiting case, the outcome of the final phase is to maintain the conditions of the initial phase …
Unlike ‘creative’ clauses, ‘transformative’ ones can often have a separate element representing the outcome … an Attribute specifying the resultant state of the Goal. Even where the sense of outcome is inherent in the process, the outcome may be indicated by the ‘particle’ of a phrasal verb, as in shut down

Friday, 22 December 2017

Intransitive Creative Materials Vs Existentials [Diagnostics]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 231-2):
‘Intransitive’ ‘creative’ clauses have the sense of ‘come into existence’ and shade into clauses of the ‘existential’ process type. One difference is the unmarked present tense: it is present–in–present for material clauses … but the simple present in existential ones. Another difference is the potential for a construction with there as Subject in existential clauses, but not in creative material ones.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Processes Of Destruction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 231):
However, processes of destruction seem to be treated by the grammar as ‘transformative’ rather than as ‘creative’ …

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Phase–As–Process As Grammatical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 231n):
In hypotactic verbal group complexes, the phase (starting, continuing; trying, succeeding; and so on) is an expansion of the process itself; but [where] the phase is construed as a process in its own right … such examples … shade into metaphorical variants of clauses with phased verbal group complexes;

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Phase As Creative Material Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 231):
In the category of ‘creative’ clauses, we can perhaps also include phases of creation, as in Then I started my first novel, where started can be interpreted as ‘began to write’, and I’d better try some more non-fiction, where try can be interpreted as ‘try to write’.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Creative Material Clauses: Outcome

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 231):
In a ‘creative’ clause, the outcome is the coming into existence of the Actor (‘intransitive’) or the Goal (‘transitive’). The outcome is thus this participant itself, and there is no separate element in the clause representing the outcome.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Material Subtypes Differentiated By Outcome Of Medium

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 230n):
… seen from a different perspective from that of the traditional transitive/intransitive model, these two functions, the intransitive Actor and the transitive Goal, are actually one and the same — the Medium. The differentiation of different sub-types of ‘material’ clauses is thus based on the combination of Medium + Process in the first instance. One might have expected that it would be based on Actor + Process instead, as the traditional model would suggest; but it turns out that although they have been favoured by philosophers of language drawing on action theory, distinctions based on Actor + Process such as animacy, potency and volitionality are less central to the system of ‘material’ clauses than distinctions based on Medium + Process. In fact, the grammar of transitivity is more centrally concerned with consciousness rather than with animacy, potency or volitionality.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Material Clause Subtypes Differentiated By Outcome: Creative Vs Transformative

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 228, 230):
The nature of the outcome affecting the Actor of an ‘intransitive’ clause and the Goal of a ‘transitive’ one [i.e. the Medium] turns out to be the general criterion for recognising more delicate subtypes of material clauses. The most general contrast is between
(i) ‘creative’ clauses, where the Actor or Goal is construed as being brought into existence as the process unfolds, and
(ii) ‘transformative’ ones, where a pre-existing Actor or Goal is construed as being transformed as the process unfolds.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Outcome Phase

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 228):
The quantum of change represented by a material clause is construed as unfolding through distinct phases, typically over a fairly short interval of time — with at least an initial phase of unfolding and a separate final phase … The final phase of unfolding is the outcome of the process: it represents a change of some feature of one of the participants in the material clause.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

How Operative & Receptive Clauses Differ

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 227-8):
The clauses are the same experientially; they both represent a configuration of Actor + Process + Goal. But they differ in how these rôles are mapped onto the interpersonal functions in the modal structure of the clause. In the ‘operative’ variant, the Actor is mapped on to the Subject, so it is given modal responsibility and in the ‘unmarked’ case (in a ‘declarative’ clause) it is also the Theme; and the Goal is mapped on to the Complement, so in the ‘unmarked’ case it falls within the Rheme. However, in the ‘receptive’ variant, it is the Goal that is mapped onto the Subject, so it is assigned modal responsibiity and it is also the Theme in the ‘unmarked’ case; and the Actor has the status of an Adjunct within the Rheme of the clause and, as an Adjunct, it may be left out

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Why ‘Operative’ & ‘Receptive’?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 227n):
It is helpful to make a terminological distinction between the voice contrast of the clause — operative/receptive, and the voice contrast of the verbal group — passive/active.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Clause Voice: Operative Vs Receptive

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 227):
if there is a Goal of the process, as well as an Actor, the representation may come in either of two forms: either operative (active) … or receptive (passive) … The contrast between ‘operative’ and ‘receptive’ is a contrast in voice open to ‘transitive’ clauses.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Why Ranked Constituency?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 227n):
… the model we use is one of ranked constituency, where the clause and the verb constitute different ranking domains. One of the reasons for preferring the ranked constituency model is precisely the need to differentiate the clause as the domain of transitivity and the verb, or rather verbal group, as the domain of tense and other purely verbal systems.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Concepts Of In/Transitivity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 227):
… in English and in many other languages — perhaps all, these concepts relate more appropriately to the clause than the verb. Transitivity is a system of the clause, affecting not only the verb serving as Process, but also participants and circumstances.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Goal: Extension

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 226):
… another term that has been used for this function is Patient, meaning one that ‘suffers’ or ‘undergoes’ the process. … the relevant concept is more like that of ‘one to which the process is extended’. The concept of extension is in fact the one that is embodied in the classical terminology of ‘transitive’ [‘going through’] and ‘intransitive’ [‘not going through’], from which the term ‘transitivity’ is derived.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Goal (Of Impact)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 226, 226n):
Note that ‘Goal’ refers to the goal of impact — the participant construed as being impacted by the Actor’s performance of the process (this term is also used by Dik, 1978: 37, in his framework of ‘Functional Grammar’: ‘the entity to which the Action is applied by the Agent’). This sense of the goal of impact is distinct from (though obviously ultimately related to) the sense of destination — the destination of a process of motion, as in the goal of a journey.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Happening (Intransitive) Vs Doing (Transitive)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 225-6):
[The Actor] brings about the unfolding of the process through time, leading to an outcome that is different from the initial phase of the unfolding. This outcome may be confined to the Actor itself, in which case there is only one participant inherent in the process. Such a ‘material’ clause represents a happening and, using traditional terminology, we can call it intransitive. Alternatively, the unfolding of the process may extend to another participant, the Goal, impacting it in some way: the outcome is registered on the Goal in the first instance, rather than on the Actor. Such a ‘material’ clause represents a doing and we can call it transitive.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Different Way Material Processes Unfold Through Time

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 225, 225n):
Processes of all types unfold through time; but the way the process unfolds may vary from one process type to another. In particular, processes of the ‘material’ type tend to differ from all other types (with the partial exception of ‘behavioural’ processes …), and this is seen in how present time is reported. The unmarked tense selection is the present–in–present (e.g. is doing) rather than the simple present (e.g. does) … 
The present–in–present serves to narrow down the present from the extended now of habits and ‘general truths’ that is characteristic of the simple present with ‘material’ clauses … 
The narrowing–down effect of the present–in–present is not brought out by the names most commonly used for this tense — the ‘present progressive’, or the ‘present continuous’.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Actor Vs Subject

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 225):
… Actor and Subject are distinct in a ‘passive’ — or ‘receptive’ — clause … Here the Actor is not interpersonally ‘charged’ with the rôle of Subject, but is rather given the lower status of Adjunct and can thus be left out … We therefore have to be careful to distinguish the experiential notion of ‘the one doing the deed’ (or ‘the one bringing about the change’) from the interpersonal notion of ‘the one held modally responsible’ (or ‘the one given the status of the nub of the argument’).

Monday, 4 December 2017

Actor Vs Agent

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 225n):
The ‘Actor’ of a ‘material’ clause (Halliday, 1967/8) is distinct from the ‘Agent’ of an ‘effective’ clause … the two represent different generalisations about the experiential organisation of the clause. There is considerable variation in the use of the terms ‘agent’ and ‘actor’ in linguistics. For example, Dik (1978: 37) uses ‘agent’ (paired with ‘goal’) in a sense that is close to our ‘actor’, whereas Foley & van Valin (1984: 29ff) use ‘actor’ (paired with ‘undergoer’) in a sense that is closer to our ‘agent’.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Material Clauses: Actor

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 224-5):
… ‘material’ clauses are clauses of doing–&–happening: a ‘material’ clause construes a quantum of change in the flow of events as taking place through some input of energy. … the source of the energy bringing about the change is typically a participant — the Actor … the ‘logical Subject’ of older terminology. The Actor is the one who does the deed — that is, the one that brings about the change.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Process, Participant And Circumstance

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 224):
The concepts of process, participant and circumstance are semantic categories which explain in the most general way how phenomena of our experience of the world are construed as linguistic structures.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Transient Processes And Permanent Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 223-4):
Change is thus construed as involving both transience and permanence, and the phenomena of experience are construed either as transient processes or as permanent participants. The border between these two is indeterminate; the lexicogrammar of every language will allow considerable discretion in how phenomena are treated in discourse, and lexicogrammars of different languages draw the borderline in different places. … This is an area of considerable fluidity; but most phenomena are treated as either as process or participant, and have to be reconstrued metaphorically to change their status in the grammar …