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.