Thursday, 12 April 2012

Verbal Clauses: Distinctive Patterns

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 255):
[Unlike ‘behavioural’ process clauses] ‘verbal’ process clauses do display distinctive patterns of their own. Besides being able to project … they accommodate three further participant functions in addition to the Sayer: (1) Receiver, (2) Verbiage, (3) Target. The first two of these are ‘oblique’ participants.

Verbal Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 255):
In certain respects, ‘verbal’ clauses are thus like ‘behavioural’ ones, exhibiting certain characteristics of other process types — tense like ‘material’ or ‘relational’, ability to project like ‘mental’.

For Non-Conscious Sayers: Tense Like Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 254-5):
However, the simple present also occurs in a more ‘relational’ sense of ‘expresses the opinion that’ … And when the Sayer is realised by a nominal group denoting a symbol source other than a human speaker, the tense selection is more likely to be more like that of a ‘relational’ clause … While such clauses are still clearly ‘verbal’, they are closer to ‘relational’ clauses than are ‘verbal’ ones with a human speaker as Subject.

For Conscious Sayers: Tense Like Material Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 254, 254n):
The tense is also in a sense intermediate between that of ‘material’ clauses and that of ‘relational’ ones. When the Sayer is realised by a nominal group denoting a conscious speaker, the tense selection may be like that of a ‘material’ clause, with the simple present indicating habit or generalisation (ie an extended ‘now’) and the present in present indicating the narrower period of time; and the present in past often indicates simultaneity, just as it does with ‘material’ clauses. … The present can alternate with the past in conversational narratives just as it can with ‘material’ clauses …

Verbal Processes: Saying

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 253, 254):
‘Saying’ has to be interpreted in a rather broad sense; it covers any kind of symbolic exchange of meaning
… unlike ‘mental’ clauses, ‘verbal’ ones do not require a conscious participant. The Sayer can be anything that puts out a signal … In view of the nature of the ‘Sayer’, verbal processes might more appropriately be called ‘symbolic’ processes …