Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 386):
We can use these scales – countability, animacy, generality – as a way of locating the thing in lexicogrammatical space. A fourth factor, that of the metaphoric propensity of nouns (their potential for construing qualities and processes as things). Certain special classes of noun can be identified by reference to the grammar of process types: for example, nouns construing different types of projection. But a more detailed categorisation of things, in terms of their association with roles in the various process types, should emerge after more systematic investigation of the large-scale corpus data that are now available.