The following explanation is from ... SFG Page ....
Originally Posted by jirikoo
The next one is from Literary Stylistics Notes no. 9 by Ismail S Talib: Transitivity 1
The participants are:
- Actor -- the one performing the action
- Goal -- that which is affected by the action
- Scope -- that which remains unaffected by the action
- Attribute -- a quality ascribed or attributed to an entity
- Client -- for whom/which the action occurs
- Recipient -- the receiver of goods or services
A material process is a process of doing or happening, and the Actor is the key participant. You can probe a material process with "what did the Actor do?" or "what happened?"
Alvin played ping pong yesterday Pt:
Alvin swallowed the ping pong ball by mistake Pt:
The doctor gave Alvin some laxative Pt:
He also made Alvin a tablet Pt:
and painted it green Pr:
Because the material process involves dynamic verbs, the progressive is permitted -- "Alvin was playing ping pong yesterday". This is a useful test to tell apart a material process from another that is inherently stative.
Please note that Goal is that which is affected by something being done to it (that is, it either changes its position or its status). If it remains unaffected (or unimpacted), it is not Goal, but Scope.
Another useful point to note is that whereas Recipient takes the preposition "to", Client takes "for". Compare:
- The doctor gave some laxative to Alvin. (Recipient)
- He also made a bitter-tasting tablet for Alvin. (Client)
Material process verbs
, like mental process verbs
, can either be transitive
. If a verb which describes physical action is transitive
, it is virtually definite that it is a material
, and not
a behavioural process
verb. For intransitive verbs
, one way to determine whether an action is a material
or behavioural process
is to look at the actor
- If the first participant of the intransitive verb denoting physical action is non-human, it is usually a material process verb.
- If the first participant of the intransitive verb is human, the process is
- material if the verb is decidedly actional, or
- behavioural if the verb is not only actional, but in some way dependent on the person's emotive, sensory or cognitive responses as well.