Verbal Processes 2

In addition to the Sayer there are three further participants possible with verbal Processes: Receiver, Verbiage and Target (H & M, p.255).

  1. The Receiver is “the one to whom the saying is directed…realised by a nominal group typically denoting a conscious being (a potential speaker), a collective or an institution” (p. 255). One question that comes up in EFL classes is the difference between “tell sb that” and “tell that to sb“.  I think the difference lies in the importance placed on the Receiver, whether it is a full noun group as in the first sentence or downgraded in importance to a Circumstance as in the second.
  2. The Verbiage is “representing [what is said] as a class of thing rather than as a report or quote” (p.255). This may be (a) the content of what is said – “She told me her feelings” – or (b) the name of the saying – “She told me a story“.
  3. The Target “construes the entity that is targeted by the process of the saying” (p. 256), as in the song “Praise You“.

About eflfunc

I'm an EFL teacher in Japan and this is a blog to record some thoughts on using Systemic Functional Linguistics in the foreign language classroom.
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