Thursday, 13 December 2012

Verbal Not Behavioural


they
described
the new project
to the Board
Sayer
Process: verbal
Verbiage
Receiver


they
insulted
her
to her face
Sayer
Process: verbal
Target
Receiver


Viewed from 'roundabout', these are clear-cut verbal processes, since the configuration includes the verbal clause participants Verbiage, Receiver and Target.

Note that this is anomalously analysed as 'behavioural' in Deploying Functional Grammar (Martin, Matthiessen & Painter 2010: 125-6):

they
described
the new project
to the Board
Behaver
Process: behavioural
Verbiage
Receiver

they
insulted
her
to her face
Behaver
Process: behavioural
Target
Receiver

presumably on the assumption that the potential to project is a necessary condition of all verbal processes, ignoring the exceptional subtype of those that accept a Target.




















Note that mixing transitivity functions this way — behavioural with verbal — complicates the model without adding any extra explanatory power, and compromises the valeur of the terms used for each configuration.

Material Not Behavioural


Even though 'solve' does not project, viewed 'from above', in terms of the meaning being realised, problem-solving is a cognitive mental process: coming to understand a semiotic phenomenon.

they
solved
the problem
Senser
Process: mental
Phenomenon


On the other hand, viewed 'from roundabout', such clauses can accept a Beneficiary — eg for the teacher — which is a participant in material, verbal and relational clauses only (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004: 293), thereby ruling out mental, behavioural and existential clauses.  Since the clause is clearly neither verbal nor relational, on this criterion, the clause is material.


they
solved
the problem
Actor
Process: material
Goal

So the clause combines features of mental and material processes, depending on the stratum of content — the level of symbolic abstraction — meaning or wording, it is viewed from.

Note that this is anomalously analysed as 'behavioural' in Deploying Functional Grammar (Martin, Matthiessen & Painter 2010: 125-6):


they
solved
the problem
Behaver
Process: behavioural
Phenomenon

While it is true that behavioural processes display aspects of both mental and material processes, the tension here is across strata, between semantics and lexicogrammar, not within lexicogrammar.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Creative Happenings Metaphorically Realised As Quoting Clause Nexus





the tyres
went
'screech!'

the little engine
went
'wheeee!’

the car
went
'bang!'

Sayer
Process: verbal

metaphorical
1
“2
Actor
Process: material
Scope
congruent


In Deploying Functional Grammar, these processes are analysed as behavioural rather than verbal, because 'it is not possible to have a Receiver in these clauses' (p125). This is despite the fact that these processes project and in a footnote (p124), the inability to project is used as a criterion for preferring a behavioural analysis over a verbal one.