Thursday, 27 December 2012

David Rose On Process Type Vs "Verb Type"

On 20/12/12 David Rose wrote on the sys- func and sysfling lists:
It is very common to confuse process type with type of verb, but they are at different ranks in the grammar.
This confusion is possibly not helped by expert discussions that often elide this distinction, for example of 'lexis as delicate grammar'.

Blogger Comments:

[1] process type is a functional system at the rank of clause, whereas "type of verb" is a type of form, like 'clause type' or 'group type', and as such, is not a functional system at word rank.

In SFL theory, the functional system that is realised by lexical verbs is the verbal group system of event type,  which is concerned with the temporal properties of verbs and not, for example, their potentiality in realising process type.  Halliday and Matthiessen (2004: 348):
… the system network of the verbal group is a network of systems representing contrasts that are purely grammatical in nature.  The only system that extends in delicacy towards distinctions that are realised lexically is the system of event type — the verbal group analogue of the thing type system in the nominal group.  This system is concerned with distinctions among verbs relating to their temporal properties (thus complementing the clausal system of process type, which is concerned with distinctions among processes relating to configurations of process plus participants).

[2] Expert discussions of 'lexis as delicate grammar' are not even concerned with the distinction between process type and "type of verb" — let alone elide it — and any discussion that confuses either function with form, or the rank scale with the scale of delicacy is manifestly inexpert.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

David Banks On Behavioural Processes

David Banks wrote at 19:52 8/12/12 on the Sysfling list:
I've been following this string with interest. Earlier this year, at the Bertinoro conference, I gave a paper on Behavioural Process, in which I argued that if one tries to synthesize what is said about Behavioural Process in various introductions, the result is contradictory and incoherent. At the risk of being called a heretic (again!), I suggest that it is preferable to uses a system with 5 process types, eliminating Behavioural Process. I treat Verbal Process as being processes of communication, within which it is possible to distinguish two sub-groups: those that project, and those that don't.

Blogger Comments:

[1] Indeed, the treatment of behavioural processes in Deploying Functional Grammar (Martin, Matthiessen & Painter 2010) is clearly inconsistent with Halliday & Matthiessen (2004).  For example, the former analyses the clause the tyres went 'screech!' as behavioural, whereas the latter characterises behavioural processes as processes of psychological and physiological behaviour.  See 'Deploying Functional Grammar' On "Behavioural" Processes.

[2] Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 248-50, 255) already acknowledge that:
They are the least distinct of all the six process types because they have no clearly defined characteristics of their own; rather they are partly like the material and partly like the mental. … ‘behavioural’ process clauses are not so much a distinct type of process, but rather a cluster of small subtypes blending the material and the mental into a continuum …
and suggest (Halliday & Matthiessen 1999: 136):
These can be interpreted as a subtype of material processes or as a borderline category between material and mental.

 [3] Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 256) already specify verbal processes that don't — or rarely — project reported locutions:
Verbs that accept a Target do not easily project reported speech; this type of clause is closer to the Actor + Goal structure of a ‘material’ clause …

Monday, 10 December 2012

Tom Bartlett On Verbal Clauses

On 7 December 2012, at 21:32, Jim Martin wrote on the Sysfling list:
This set also takes present in present tense, like other behaviourals.
They can project in Languages like Japanese, as Teruya points out, but not
in English.
to which Tom Bartlett replied on 8 December 2012, at 10:15:
Verbals also take present in present when we have a human speaker and are referring to a current act.
What's she doing? She's telling him that she's just had a promotion.
I think the present simple use signals a shift towards the identifying use:
The article explains that it was all an accident. (Verbal)
The blood on the carpet (Tk) tells us that there has been an accident (Val). (Identifying)

Blogger Comments:

[1] The set referred to is "to criticize", "to praise", "to enjoy" — none of which is behavioural.  The first two are verbal processes that admit a Target, and so rarely project; the last is a mental process.

[2] Martin's claim was that the present in present is the unmarked present tense for this set, not that present-in-present is not used, as Bartlett mistakenly inferred.

[3] This is a clause complex in which a verbal clause projects an existential clause as its content (locution/wording), not an identifying clause.  Click here for a transitivity analysis.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Tom Bartlett On Projection

At 10:08am 8/12/12 on the Sysfling list, Tom Bartlett wrote:
Re criticising etc projecting, I suspect there is something rather different going on and that there is a shortened macrophenomenon as the Complement, e.g.
They criticised (the fact) that she had come.
The short form is not in my own idiolect so I can't make a strong judgment on this, but it seems to parallel the projecting/reacting distinction in :
I said (*the fact) that she had come - projecting.
I regretted (the fact) that she had come - macrophenomenon as Complement.
My guess then is that some speakers (of EFL, if you like) can omit "the fact" for both mental and verbal reactions, unlike my idiolect, which only allows this for mental reactions, rather than that these varieties can project after targeting verbal processes.

Blogger Comments:

A fact is a metaphenomenon, not a macrophenomenon; a macrophenomenon is an act.
Facts are 'pre-projected'; that is, they are not related by projection to a verbal or mental clause in the clause complex in which they figure.
Click here for transitivity analyses.