In addition to the Sayer there are three further participants possible with verbal Processes: Receiver, Verbiage and Target (H & M, p.255).
- 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.
- 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“.
- The Target “construes the entity that is targeted by the process of the saying” (p. 256), as in the song “Praise You“.