Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Fact As Cause In Attributive Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 275-6):
No doubt because of this overlap, the situation regarding the status of ‘facts’ is also blurred. In principle, if a second figure comes into the picture representing the source or origin of the mental condition, it appears as ‘fact’ with a ‘mental’ clause but as ‘cause’ with a ‘relational’ one; for example:
(mental) it distresses me/I regret + that you failed
It distresses him that women ask him, to this day, to remove his dark glasses so that they can witness the marvel of his magical peepers.
(relational) I’m very distressed + because you failed
Well, I’m still afraid of him ’cause he’s bitten me.
But ‘relational attributive’ clauses with Attributes of this kind, agnate to the Process of a ‘mental’ clause, are regularly construed with ‘fact’ clauses:
(relational) I’m very distressed/it’s a great pity + that you failed
I am extremely distressed that these unfounded allegations should then have been leaked to newspapers.
The Attribute has become, in effect, a metaphorical expression of the Process of a ‘mental’ clause, and can be accompanied by a clause that is projected.