Thursday, 7 May 2015

On Nominal Groups In Location Circumstances Not Realising Participants

Martin (1992: 131):
Some Circumstances [sic] of Location are perhaps best treated along these lines, as subclassifying the Process with respect to direction rather than introducing a participant (see Chapter 5, section 5.3.3 for further discussion); note the lack of deixis in the nominal groups of destination in ride to work, come to school, go to theatre (medicine), return home etc.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, Martin has defined 'participant' in terms of nominal groups functioning as the Agent or Medium of a clause.  This definition already excludes all circumstances.

In SFL theory, nominal groups inside prepositional phrases have the status of indirect participant (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014: 312).

But even in Martin's terms (ideational denotation), such circumstances do "introduce a participant" whose identity can be subsequently presumed, as shown by:
They rode to school.  It was much like a prison run by cruel warders.

[2] To be clear, the relation is one of enhancement, and it obtains between the Location and the configuration of Process and participants (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014: 314).

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