Saturday, 10 March 2012

Mick O'Donnell On Process Types [1]

In a discussion on the email list sfl_education on 23/2/12 concerning process types, Mick O'Donnell writes:
Cases where we don't really have a category: For me, we really need a 7th category for modal lexical verbs, e.g., I was required to leave (also allowed, permitted, obliged, etc.) I find it hard to say these are auxiliary verbs.

Blogger Comments:

[1] On the SFL model, examples such as  I was required/allowed/permitted/obliged to leave do not involve an auxiliary in a verbal group.  Instead, these involve a hypotactic verbal group complex.  Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 513):
… there is a special set that only exist as causatives, where the meaning is simply that of agency: make, cause, force require, let, allow, permit, etc.  These admit of three degrees of modulation …
[2] O'Donnell's "I find it hard to say" — like "I cannot believe" — is an example of the logical fallacy known as the argument from personal incredulity.

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