Friday, 6 April 2012

Circumstantial Attributive Process Vs Material Process [Diagnostic: Unmarked Tense & Participant Mobility]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 242):
Verbs serving in clauses with a circumstantial process are often derived from a basic use in ‘material’ clauses of motion … The unmarked present tense is the simple present … rather than the present in present of ‘material’ clauses … The Carrier is typically some immobile physical feature, whereas the Actor of a ‘material’ clause of motion is typically an animate being or a mobile entity. Because of the overlap of a large set of verbs, there will of course be cases that are indeterminate …

Circumstance As Attributive Process: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 241):
Here the Attribute is realised by a nominal group and the circumstantial relation is expressed by the lexical verb in the verbal group serving as Process … The verb expresses a circumstantial relation such as ‘be + matter’, ‘be + extent in time’, ‘be + extent in space’. Being attributive, these are non-reversible; there are no ‘receptive’ equivalents …

Circumstantial Attributive Vs Existential [Diagnostic: Mood Tag]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 241):
However, note that clauses such as on the north wall  hangs a Union Jack … are not ‘attributive’ but ‘existential’.  The thematically unmarked form of these clauses is that beginning with existential there: there is (hangs) a Union Jack on the north wall.  The prepositional phrase then appears initially as a marked Theme; in that case the existential feature may be left implicit, although the there may still be present and will appear in any case in the mood tag: on the north wall (there) is a Union Jack, isn’t there?.  In contrast, in a ‘circumstantial attributive’ clause, the Subject/Carrier is picked up in the mood tag: the sounds and smells of the ocean hang in the air — don’t they?

Circumstantial Vs Intensive Attributes: Thematicity & Definiteness

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 241):
Unlike the Attribute of an ‘intensive’ clause, the Attribute of a ‘circumstantial’ one is frequently Theme in registers where the thematic status is rhetorically motivated … And unlike intensive Attributes, such circumstantial Attributes frequently have a ‘definite’ nominal group …

Attributive Clauses: Circumstantial Or Intensive [Diagnostic: Constituent Structure]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 240n):
Ascriptive verbs of marked phase such as turn and look, were treated as ‘intensive’ even when they had a preposition after them: for example, caterpillars turn into butterflies, Penelope looked like an angel.  This reflects their constituent structure; cf what they turn into are butterflies (not what they turn is into butterflies), Penelope looked angelic.  But there is an overlap at this point, and these could also be interpreted as circumstantial.