Friday, 5 January 2018

The Transfer Of Possession: Giving Vs Depriving

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 238-9, 239n):
Note that the transfer of possession can alternatively be modelled in the grammar as depriving somebody of something rather than as giving something to somebody; in this model, the original owner is construed either circumstantially as a locative source, as in take/steal/borrow money from a friend, or participantally as the Goal, with the goods being transferred construed circumstantially as Matter, as in rob/deprive him of [‘in respect of’] his money. … 
These two models for construing the experience of transfer of possession are thus grammatically distinct in English. The ‘giving’ model constitutes a distinct type in the grammar of transitivity – the configuration of Actor + Process + Goal + Recipient. In contrast, the ‘depriving’ model is not a distinct one; it is based on a more general pattern of participant + circumstance:
(i) [possession as participant] Actor + Process + Goal + Place (e.g. they took his most cherished belongings from him) or 
(ii) [original owner as participant] Actor + Process + Goal + Matter (e.g. they robbed him of his most cherished belongings).
To account for the relationship between these two lexicogrammatical models in English, we have to move up to the level of semantics.