Thursday, 7 May 2015

On Nominal Groups Realising Range (Process) But Not Realising Participants

Martin (1992: 130-1):
Ranges functioning as nominal realisations of a process present a further category of nominal group not realising a participant; note the following proportionalities:
dance : do a dance ::
bath : take a bath ::
dine : have dinner ::
talk : give a talk ::
sing : sing a song ::
play : play tennis ::
ask : ask a question
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 Range: process.

[2] To be clear, in SFL theory, Ranges are participants, as shown by their potential to serve as Subject.  But even in Martin's terms (ideational denotation), a Range: process does "introduce a participant" whose identity can be subsequently presumed, as shown by:
They had dinnerIt was the tastiest he'd had in quite some time.

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