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Processes and Participants

This is a revision of the transitivity system for my students attending the" linguistica inglese 2-" course

Monica Turci

on 27 September 2017

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Transcript of Processes and Participants

What is transitivity about?
It is about a relatively small number of processes each of them with their own participants.
There may be some circumstances involved.
this is why we talk about
three constituents

mental processes
They are divided into four sub-categories: sensing - perception (involving the five senses) emotive (emotions) cognitive (thinking processes) and desiderative (want). The mental processes can be probed with questions such as "what does he perceive?" "What was his reaction?" What does he think?"

relational processes
(processes of being and having)
These processes deal with concepts that are related through the verbs "to be" and "to have
verbal processes
material processes
They involve physical actions. The material process can be probed with questions like
What did he do?; What happened to him.
Thompson (2004: 120) defines this process as belonging to a "default transitivity category", that is to say that when a process does not seem to belong to other categories is mostly probably a material process. These processes involve creation/ trasformation, They can be intentional or involuntary

main participants
ACTOR is the doer of the action. Any material process has an actor but this may not be mentioned in the clause (in passive sentences)
GOAL is the participant that is affected by the action of the actor or 'being done to'. Not all material processes have Goals (Thompson, 95)
attributive processes
They provide information on how things or people are. They involve two participants:
the entity that carries an attribute;
the quality that is ascribed to the CARRIER
identifying processes
Their main role is to identify things and people. They involve an
and an

main participants
SENSER the participant in whose mind the process occurs; this is a human participant or an inanimate one that has been personified
PHENOMENON this can be a person, a concrete object, an abstraction and a fact

main participants
There is a
who makes a text or a conversation a
who takes it and a
something that is being said/ or written
These processes can project. What they project are locutions

Existential processes
They are processes of existence; they are usually included in expressions such as "there is" "there are". Note that here "There" is a dummy Subject
Behavioural Processes
They have only one participant: the behaver. They are processes that are in-between mental and material processes
squeezed between a sub-category of relational process that symbolize and mental processes. These processes share with language the characteristics of being abstract and symbolic; they also reflect mental operations
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