Thursday, 15 November 2012

Verbal Group Viewed From Above And Below


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 335):
The verbal group is the constituent that functions as Finite plus Predicator (or as Predicator alone if there is no Finite element) in the mood structure (clause as exchange); and as Process in the transitivity structure (clause as representation). …
A verbal group is the expansion of a verb, in the same way that a nominal group is the expansion of a noun; and it consists of a sequence of words of the primary class of verb.  … it contains a lexical verb, which comes last; a finite verb which comes first; and an auxiliary verb [or verbs], which comes in between.  No other ordering of these three components is possible. …
Because there is very much less lexical material in the verbal group — only one lexical item, in fact — the experiential structure is extremely simple; and most of the semantic load is carried by the logical structure, including the tense system.