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Introduction to Experiential Meaning: The System of Transitivity The term transitivity is related to process types, and the process

itself has several kinds: Material Mental Verbal Behavioral Existential Relational Here we will discus about the first four processes. Beside the process type, that is what we called major system, there is also circumstantial or minor system involved, such as Goal, Range, and Beneficial. That would be explained soon. A. Material Process It is the matter of doing process, a concrete action. To identify this, we can simply ask: What did x do? For example: What has Diana done? Diana has donated blood 36 times Furthermore, material processes are processes about action that involve Actors realized by nominal groups. The actor or participant is not always mentioned by one only but also two or even more. So, in this case we can distinguish them as: Intransitive : if theres only one participant Transitive : if therere two or more participants Transitive process itself divided into two processes: Active They tested my blood Passive My blood was tested (by them) Special for Passive the subject is not also the Actor, so that will distinguish between Goal and Actor, as the analysis shown below: Actor is known when the clause has only one participant and is active, so the participant will be the Actor, and it is obviously the one who does the deed. Diana went to Geneva Actor Pr: material Goal is that participant at whom the process is directed. There can only be one Goal per clause. In passive Goal becomes the subject, and Actor may be omitted. She carried the bomb onto the plane Actor Pr: material Goal The bomb was carried onto the plane (by her) Goal Pr: material (Actor) Goal vs Range It is important to know that there are some differences between Goal and Range since they are quite similar. The discussion will enhance the information about them. There are three types of range:

Range which expresses the process itself Ex: They ran the race Actor Pr: material Range Here the race is a restatement of process run. Race and run are naturally related. Range which expresses the extent of the process Ex: They were playing bridge/tennis/a game Actor Pr: material Range Bridge, tennis, or a game is the constituents. They are the unnatural relation with the process itself. Range which is created by the use of dummy verbs like do, give, make. Ex: You just give me a whistle Actor Pr: material Range Beneficiary One further participant which may occur in a material process clause is the Beneficiary. There are two kinds of Beneficiary: Recipient (the one to whom something is given) and Client (the one for whom something is done). Example of Recipient: But in Switzerland they give you a cognac Actor Pr: material Recipient Goal Example of Client: I ll heat you up some soup Actor Pr: material Client material Goal Circumstances The last type of participant we need to look at is Circumstantial, which is realized by adverbial groups or prepositional phrase. Here is the table of summary for the kinds of Circumstantial.
Extent duration (temporal) Location Manner Cause Accompa niment Matter Role

time (temporal)



distance (spatial)

place (spatial)






It is also important to know that beside Actor as a doer, there is Agent too which ruled as the initiator of the action in the causative construction. Take a look a clause below: They make you fill in focus Agent Pr: causative Actor Pr: material Range Now take a look at the table below: And fortunately they could

through the umbilical artery Adjunct: Adjunct: Subject Finite: Predicator Complement Adjunct: conjun comment mod circ MOOD RESIDUE Actor Pr: material Goal Circ: manner The table shows us the two layer of structural description: Mood and Transitivity structure. Consider that they, it, through the umbilical artery have function in both analysis, that are interpersonal and experiential. The one that has a function in a structure means has no function in the other one structure. It means that could, for instance, has interpersonal meaning but has no experiential one. B. Mental Process It deals with thinking and feeling and also perception. Mental process divided into three classes: Cognition (thinking, knowing, understanding), Affection (liking, fearing) and Perception (seeing, hearing). Mental process is not like material in four situations: 1. Choice of unmarked present tense While material process the present tense is present continuous, mental process the unmarked present tense is simple present. 2. Number of participation Mental process must always have two participants (Active and non-Active), so it is a transitive process. 3. Nature of the active participant The Active participant must be a conscious human, what we called as Senser, who feels, thinks, or perceives. 4. Nature of the non-Active participant The non-Active participant is called as Phenomenon, which is thought, felt, or perceived by Senser. Phenomenon itself has two kinds: Acts and Facts. Act is realized by an imperfective non finite clause. Ex: I saw (the operation taking place) Senser Pr: mental Phenomenon: act To determine an Act just simply add word that then see if it could not be inserted directly, it could not be: I saw that the operation taking place



Meanwhile, Fact is an embedded clause usually finite and usually introduced by a that, compare to the Act above, the word that can be inserted and also be reversed. Ex: (The fact that it was a bomb) escaped her Phenomenon Pr: mental Senser 5. Reversibility The fifth major difference between mental and material process is the reversibility. Consider these pairs of mental process: A She believed his excuses B His excuses convinced her

The clause in A is similar in meaning with B. Both of the clauses are active in voice, but they also exist in passive: A A His excuses were believed by her She was convinced by his excuses So if we are going to make structures about that that would be like these: She believed his excuses subject finite predicator complement MOOD RESIDU Senser Pr: mental Phenomenon His excuses subject MOOD Senser Pr: mental convinced finite predicator her complement RESIDU Phenomenon

His excuses subject MOOD Phenomenon She subject

were finite

believed predicator RESIDU Pr: mental

(by her) Adjunct: circ (Senser)

(by his excuses) Adjunct: circ MOOD RESIDU Senser Pr: mental (Phenomenon) As you can see that in mental process both Senser and Phenomenon can be applied as Subject, while in material process it can not be.

was finite

convinced predicator

6. Projection The last difference will be dealing with clause complex. Projection means that mental process can project or shade. Look at these examples below (the shaded box indicates a clause boundary): So I thought I d give blood senser Pr: mental Actor Pr: mental Range I ll meet her in Israel he decided Actor Pr: mental Goal circ: loc senser Pr: mental Each of the examples above has two clauses and two parts of process that related in which one clause projects the second one. Projection is logical relationship by the term indirect or reported thought, or direct or quoted thought. C. Behavioral Process Behavioral is in between mental and material process. It is in part about action, but it is action that has to be experienced by a conscious being. The examples of behavioral process are: breathe, cough, dream, frown, gawk, grin, laugh, look over, smile, sniff, stare, taste, etc. The participant is called Behaver, and it is typically a conscious being: She sighed with despair Behaver Pr: behavioral circ: manner Behaviorals can contain a second participant that restates it, it is called Behavior: He smiled a broad smile Behaver Pr: behavioral Behavior If there is another participant which is not restate the process, it is called a Phenomenon: George sniffed the soup Behaver Pr: behavioral Phenomenon This process can occur with circumstantial elements, particularly cause and manner: Simon laughed at girls stupidity Behaver Pr: bahavioral circ: cause D. Verbal Process Verbal process is a process of verbal action: saying and all its many synonyms, including symbolic exchanges of meaning. A verbal process typically contains three participants: Sayer, Receiver, and Verbiage. Sayer is the participant responsible for the verbal process. Receiver is the one to whom the verbal process is directed. Verbiage is a normalized statement of the verbal process. Example:

The Arab boyfriend told her a lot of rubbish Sayer Pr: verbal Receiver Verbiage Like mental process, verbals form a clause complex, projecting a second clause by either quoting or reporting, but it is in form of speech rather than ideas: I said Can you avoid the scar tissue? Sayer Pr: verbal Actor Pr: material Goal