Saturday, 3 March 2012

Material, Mental & Relational Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 248):
They are the principal types in that they are the cornerstones of the grammar in its guise as a theory of experience, they present three distinct kinds of structural configuration, and they account for the majority of all clauses in a text.

Main Process Types Construed By The Transitivity Of English: Relational

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 170):
In addition to material and mental processes — the outer and inner aspects of our experience, a third component has to be supplied, before this can become a coherent theory of experience. We learn to generaliseto relate one fragment of experience to another: this is the same as that, this is a kind of the other. Here the grammar recognises processes of a third type, those of identifying and classifying; we call these relational process clauses …

Main Process Types Construed By The Transitivity Of English: Material & Mental

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 170):
There is a basic difference, that we become aware of at a very early age (three to four months), between inner and outer experience: between what we experience as going on ‘out there’, in the world around us, and what we experience as going on inside ourselves, in the world of consciousness (including perception, emotion and imagination). The prototypical form of the ‘outer’ experience is that of actions and events: things happen, and people or other actors do things, or make them happen. The ‘inner’ experience is harder to sort out; but it is partly a kind of replay of the outer, recording it, reacting to it, reflecting on it, and partly a separate awareness of our state of being. The grammar sets up a discontinuity between these two: it distinguishes rather clearly between the outer experience, the processes of the external world, and inner experience, the processes of consciousness. The grammatical categories are those of material process clauses and mental process clauses …

Process Type As Region: Core & Peripheral Areas

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 172):
The regions have core areas and these represent prototypical members of the process types; but the regions are continuous, shading into one another, and these border areas represent the fact that the process types are fuzzy categories.

Process Types: Ordering

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 171-2):
There is no priority of one kind of process over another. But they are ordered; and what is important is that, in our concrete visual metaphor, they form a circle and not a line. (More accurately still … a sphere … .) That is to say, our model of experience, as interpreted through the grammatical system of transitivity, is one of regions within a continuous space; but the continuity is not between two poles, it is round in a loop.

The Principle Of Systemic Indeterminacy

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 173):
The world of our experience is highly indeterminate; and this is precisely how the grammar construes it in the system of process type. Thus, one and the same text may offer alternative models of what would appear to be the same domain of experience, construing for example the domain of emotion both as a process in a ‘mental’ clause … and as a participant in a ‘relational’ one …
There are a number of experiential domains, such as emotion, that are given such a multifaceted interpretation by the grammar of transitivity. Such domains are experientially difficult to come to terms with, and the grammar solves the problem by offering complementary models for construing them.

Figures Construed By Transitivity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 170):
All figures consist of a process unfolding through time and of participants being directly involved in this process in some way; and in addition there may be circumstances of time, space, cause, manner or one of a few other types. These circumstances are not directly involved in the process; rather they are attendant on it.
Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 175):
A figure consists, in principle, of three components:
1 a process unfolding through time
2 the participants involved in the process
3 circumstances associated with the process.
These are organised in configurations that provide the models or schemata for construing our experience of what goes on.