Verbal Processes can be construed as either activity or semiosis. The difference between them can be seen, for example, if we compare “He is speaking French”, which describes an activity closer to material clauses, to “He said hello in French”, which is more relational (H & M, p.254-5). Note also the difference in the choice of tense.
Activity type verbs serving as verbal Processes may be either:
- targeting, which include: praise, insult, abuse, slander, flatter, blame, criticize, chide, or;
- talking, which include: speak, talk.
Semiosis type verbs serving as verbal Processes may be grouped into three sub-types:
- neutral quoting, which include: say, tell, go, be like;
- indicating, which include: tell (sb that), report announce, notify, explain, argue, convince (that), persuade (sb that), promise (that) or ask (sb whether), question, enquire (whether);
- imperating, which include: tell (sb to do), ask (sb to do), order, command, require, promise, threaten, persuade (sb to do), convince (sb to do), entreat, implore, beg.