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THE GRAMMAR OF

EXPERIENTIAL
MEANING:
TRANSITIVIT Y
INTRODUCTION

• In the SFL account, the ideational strand of meaning in fact involves two components: that of
experential meaning in the clause and that of the logical meaning between clause in clause
complexes (next chapter)
THE METAFUNCTION
• Halliday stated that each “clause” does not only express one meaning but in fact three. To
capture these different types of meaning, we diffentiated between three roles of Subject,
Theme, and Actor.
But George in Swizerland they give you a cognac
Adjunct: Adjunct: Adjunct: subject finite predicator Complement complement
conjunc vocative circ
RESIDUE MOOD RESIDUE

But the clause is not just a giving information: it is a giving information about something. For example,
giving the information that in a certain place (Switzerland), some group of people (they) perform a fairly
concrete action (giving) of an object (a cognac) to someone who benefits (you)

But George in Swizerland they give you a cognac


Circumstance: actor Process: material beneficiary goal
location
INTRODUCTION TO EXPERENTIAL
MEANING: THE SYSTEM OF TRANSITIVITY
• When we look at the experential metafunction, we are looking at the grammar of the clause as
representation.
• The clause function as REPRESENTATION: each clause constructs an action, event or state in
the material and/or mental world, as well as the animate and inanimate participant involved
and, possibly, the circumstances in which it occurs.
• What is the status of processes in grammar? Processes are realized in the grammar by VGs.
They are the core constituents of the Transitivity system which includes: