Presentation on theme: "Silvia Samiolo - Padua1 Italian Transitivity / Ergativity Why two analyses?"— Presentation transcript:
Silvia Samiolo - Padua1 Italian Transitivity / Ergativity Why two analyses?
Silvia Samiolo - Padua2 Transitivity and Ergativity in the Typological tradition One seminal work on Ergativity in the Typological tradition is Dixons Ergativity (1994). He suggests that there are semantic principles which inform case marking systems. However, Dixons approach cannot be reconciled with the systemic functional model for two main reasons: His notion of Subject and Object as semantically empty grammatical categories His presupposition that these categories are universal, which lies at the basis of his analysis of a wide range of languages On the contrary, in the SF model: - there are no semantically empty categories - grammatical categories are not presupposed to be universal. They might be, to a degree, but this has to be demonstrated, and even categories named the same are likely to display differences in form and meaning – see Hasan and Fries (1995: xx)
Silvia Samiolo - Padua3 Transitivity and ergativity in the SF model In Systemic linguistics, Transitivity (as a broader term including the transitive and the ergative models) is the system whereby Experiential meanings are encoded in the clause, in terms of process types and participant functions (Transitivity), and agency (Ergativity) The transitive model interprets mechanically, in terms of transmission ( trans-ire, go through ). It distinguishes between different process types and the participant functions associated with them. The Ergative model interprets scientifically, in terms of causation ( ergon: work; erg: a unit of work or energy in physics ). It generalises across process types and participant functions (Halliday 1987: 128)
Silvia Samiolo - Padua4 Transitivity and Ergativity across languages in the SF model Halliday and Matthiessen (2004: 295) suggest that probably all transitivity systems, in all languages, are some blend of these two semantic models of processes, the transitive and the ergative This hypothesis has been explored and demonstrated for English (Halliday and Matthiessen ) French (Caffarel 1997: ), Warrwa (McGregor 2002: ). As far as I can understand, it has been argued not to apply in Tagalog by Martin (1996: )
Silvia Samiolo - Padua5 Transitivity and Ergativity across languages in the SF model The aforementioned accounts are all based on the principles that: there is a natural relationship between form and meaning: language forms are explained in terms of their semantic basis (Halliday 1994: xvii) the grammatical categories which realise the different kinds of meaning are language specific, displaying both similarities and differences across languages. (E.g., there are Mental processes in Tagalog, but they differ form English Mental processes in that they do not include the sub-category of Mental processes of Volition)
Silvia Samiolo - Padua6 Italian Transitivity A functional description of the Italian language would offer a powerful model for text analysis which would be extremely helpful in our schools. We live in a semiotic and semantic world. If students are not trained to be critically aware of how reality is construed in and through language, they are bound to become passive recipients of ideologies. That is why a first sketch of a systemic functional description of Italian transitivity will be attempted here
Silvia Samiolo - Padua7 Italian Transitivity Material processes can be probed by fare/fare a; can be used in the progressive periphrasis; cannot project clauses. Non va ancora allasilo; In certi momenti mi cerca ossessivamente; Behavioural processes can be probed by fare; can be used in the progressive periphrasis; cannot project clauses; their participant must be a conscious being Non dormiva in momenti ben distinti del giorno e della notte, ma si riposava nei momenti lasciati liberi dal servizio Mental processes cannot be probed by fare/fare a; are not generally used in the progressive periphrasis; can have act and fact clauses as participants and project clauses; one participant must be a conscious being. Nel capitolo 9 abbiamo visto che il prodotto della forza per il tempo, cioè limpulso, fa variare la quantità di moto di un corpo. In questo capitolo faremo vedere che il prodotto della forza per lo spostamento da essa prodotto nel medesimo tempo, cioè il lavoro, fa variare lenergia di moto (cinetica) del corpo.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua8 Italian Transitivity Verbal processes cannot be probed by fare/fare a; are not generally used in the progressive periphrasis; can project clauses; cannot be reversed except when they are made passive; the possibility to take fact clauses as Compelment is restricted. Sgridarlo non serve, ripetergli che sta facendo del male non serve, il castigo neppure. Relational processes cannot be probed by fare/fare a (except when speaking of a persons job); cannot be used in the progressive periphrasis; cannot project clauses. Leffetto serra è un fenomeno senza il quale la vita come la conosciamo adesso non sarebbe possibile. Questo processo consiste in un riscaldamento del pianeta per effetto dellazione dei cosiddetti gas serra Existential processes cannot be probed by fare/fare a; cannot be used in the progressive periphrasis; restricted to clauses with existential ci/vi, or ecco or the formulaic expression sia dato Inoltre, sulla base delle tendenze attuali di emissione dei gas serra, vi è la stima di un ulteriore aumento della temperatura terrestre tra 1,4 e 5,8°C nel periodo fra il 1990 e il 2100.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua9 Material processes Actor – the doer (coinciding with the active Subject, or the object of ergative verbs) Marco arriva alle otto. Goal – The done to (active Object, passive Subject) Questo tavolo lha costruito il nonno. Range (Locativo, oggetto interno and complemento oggetto con verbi di supporto) Piero ha saltato il muro di cinta. Gli azzurri hanno giocato unottima partita. Marco sta facendo un riposino. Recipient (prepositional complement introduced by a) Ho dato il libro a Piero Client (prepositional complement introduced by per (ho comprato il giornale per il papà), or encoded by a pronoun in the oblique case if the subject is agentive and the clause has no other indirect object (Vado a prenderti il giornale – vado a portare il giornale a Maria per Giorgio) (Salvi and Vanelli 2004: 41-2)) Possessore (Salvi and Vanelli 2004: 41-2), the Owner of something which can be in Subject or Object position, or in a Circumstance of Location: Maria asciugò il viso a Giovanni, Il pensiero gli corse subito a Maria, Mi ha fatto un segno sulla macchina Initiator in analytical causative constructions or in constructions with Ergative verbs:il calore solare muove (ergative effective) / fa muovere (analytical causative) atmosfera e idrosfera
Silvia Samiolo - Padua10 Mental processes Participant roles in Mental processes: Senser: Must be a conscious being. It is usually encoded as Subject. It can be encoded as direct or indirect object in Mental processes of Affection (Mi piace la musica, Mi stupisce il tuo comportamento). When it is direct object, it does not share one property typical of the Direct Object in Italian: it does not allow for a part of the object to be extracted in Interrogative/Relative and ne constructions (Renzi et al. 1995: 70): La ragazza di cui Giorgio conosce il padre (il padre: Phenomenon), Giorgio ne conosce molti (molti: Phenomenon) vs. *La ragazza di cui Giorgio preoccupa il padre (il padre: Senser), Giorgio ne preoccupa molti (molti: Senser) (Renzi et al. 1995: 70) Phenomenon: It is generally direct object; it can be Subject in some Affection verbs; it is encoded by a prepositional complement when the Mental process verb is inherently reflexive (e.g., accorgersi,pentirsi di, stupirsi di/per, appassionarsi a) We have one Mental process verb which can be construed without a Subject in Italian: A Piero non importa di nessuno (Salvi and Vanelli 2004: 39) Inducer: the participant which causes a Senser to feel, think, want or perceive something (Taylor Torsello 1992: 287): Giovanni mi ha fatto vedere la sua casa; Rossi mi ha convinto della bontà delle sue intenzioni.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua11 Relational Processes Intensive, Posessive or Circumstantial Leffetto serra è un fenomeno senza il quale la vita come la conosciamo adesso non sarebbe possibile Non usava comode coperte, né aveva bisogno del silenzio Il conseguente cambiamento climatico comporterà delle implicazioni estremamente significative a carico della salute delluomo e dellintegrità dellambiente
Silvia Samiolo - Padua12 Relational Processes: Attrubutive or Identifying Attributive: Carrier & AttributeIdentifying: Token & Value, Identified & identifier Non-Reversible (*bella è Maria) -Reversible (Michele è il capo : Il capo è Michele) Attribute can be substituted by by an object pronoun if the process is Intensive (Salvi and Vanelli 2004: 63: Bella, Maria lo è davvero. Tre quintali, quel maiale li pesa senzaltro), Possessive or Circumstantial (except when expressing location: I libri sono sul tavolo : *I librio lo sono, *I libri ci sono, I libri ci sono sopra) -None of the two participants can be substituted by an Object pronoun (Michele è capo: Michele lo è, but: Michele è il capo : *Michele lo è) - The Identified comes first in written language, while it is signalled by intonation in spoken language. -The Token represents the Value The Attribute can be an Adjective, a Prepositional Phrase or a Nominal Group (Maria è uan donna di grande intelligenza) The participants are two co-referential nominal groups, prototypically displaying definite deixis (Mia sorella è quella con i capelli biondi)
Silvia Samiolo - Padua13 Relational processes Attributor: The participant which ascribes an attribute to another participant: Marco ha reso quel luogo un vero paradiso; Marco ti considera un genio Assigner: The participant who assigns identity to another participant: Il comitato ha eletto Luca (Tk/Id) presidente (Vl/Ir)– Il comitato lo ha eletto presidente In Italian we can also have Il comitato ha eletto presidente (Vk/Id) Luca (Tk/Ir) – Il comitato ha eletto presidente lui.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua14 Relational Processes / problems Can possessive processes be Identifying? Le tre case sono di Piero - ?Di Piero sono le tre case (Cosa è di Piero?) – Di Piero sono, le tre case (Di chi sono le tre case?)- * Di Piero lo sono, le tre case. Le tre case appartengono a Piero - ?A Piero appartengono le tre case (Cosa appartiene a Piero?)– A Piero appartengono, le tre case (A chi appartengono le tre case?) – *Le tre case lo appartengono – Le tre case gli appartengono
Silvia Samiolo - Padua15 Existential Processes (Frasi Presentative in Salvi and Vanelli 2004: 65, Renzi et al. 1995: 85-6) Existential processes have one participant (Existent) Esserci, volerci; accadere, avvenire, occorrere Cè del latte in frigo? (Is there any milk in the fridge) Ci vuole lo zucchero (We need sugar). Ecco (compare Caffarel 1997: ) – signals that a participant is there in the immediate extralinguistic situation Eccola! Ecco Maria (Here is she – Here is Mary). (Sia) dato (compare Caffarel 1997: ) – used in the language of mathematics to introduce a hyothetical participant at the beginning of a problem or demonstration (Sia) dato un triangolo ABC (Let ABC be a triangle)
Silvia Samiolo - Padua16 Verbal Processes Verbal participant roles: Sayer – the speaker or symbolic source producing the message (Cosa stai dicendo?) Verbiage – what is said (Marco mi ha raccontato un sacco di bugie) Receiver – the one to whom things are said – introduced by the preposition a por encoded by an oblique clitic pronoun (Mi ha detto che parte domani. Lhai detto alla mamma?) Target – the participant which is targeted by the verbal process – encoded by a direct object which can be cliticised (Hanno accusato suo fratello di furto / Lhanno accusato di furto. Lopposizione ha criticato aspramente il ministro della difesa / Lopposizione lha criticato aspramente)
Silvia Samiolo - Padua17 Behavioural Processes Generally, Behavioural processes have just one participant, the Behaver. However, they may also have a Phenomenon: Sto ascoltando un CD dei Pink Floyd The Phenomenon cannot be probed by fare a (*Cosa fai al CD dei Pink Floyd?), but it can be substituted by an object pronoun (Hai ascoltato il CD che ti ho prestato? Sì, lho ascoltato ieri) Other Behavioural processes can have a Range which re-lexicalises the process itself: Dormire sonni profondi, Fare un brutto sogno, Fare una risata, Piangere lacrime amare. The Range cannot be substituted by an object pronoun.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua18 Italian Ergativity In Italian, we have the Inaccusative construction, where an intransitive Subject displays properties which are similar to those of an Object - possibility to be the referent of the partitive clitic pronoun ne and of the genitive clitic pronoun ne, possibility to be used in the absolute construction, possibility to be placed between a verb and a prepositional phrase indicating the Possessore (see Salvi and Vanelli 2004: 55-66)
Silvia Samiolo - Padua19 Italian ergativity The inaccusative construction characterises (Renzi et al. 2005: 56- 7): verbs in the passive voice the passive si form intransitive verbs which always have essere as an auxiliary in compound tenses, e.g. accadere, andare, arrivare, bastare, bisognare, etc inherently reflexive verbs, i.e., verbs which obligatorily use si as clitic in the finite and as suffix in the non-finite forms, but which do not allow for si to be replaced by se stesso/a/i (oneself, oneselves). E.g., accorgersi, arrabbiarsi, arrampicarsi, arrangiarsi, congratularsi, fidarsi, pentirsi, etc. ergative verbs, i.e, verbs which can be used both transitively and intransitively, and whose transitive object is the intransitive subject, e.g affondare, annerire, aumentare etc. Ergative verbs comprise a sub-class verbs which are obligatorily reflexive in their intransitive use, like accumularsi, allargarsi, attorcigliarsi etc.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua20 Italian Ergativity Here we will not examine the details of inaccusative clauses, but rather see whether a generalised model like the one offered by Halliday and Matthiessen for English (2004: ) can describe Experiential clause grammar in Italian as well.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua21 Italian Ergativity / Medium In Intransitive and Ranged Material and Attributive Relational processes, the Medium is the only participant which is always obligatory and always encoded directly (no preposition) Davide non va ancora allasilo Lapproccio dovrà essere necessariamente coordinato In Transitive material processes, the Medium is the only participant which is always encoded directly, even in the passive voice (no preposition) Le attività umane stanno alterando la composizione chimica dellatmosfera. In Mental Processes, the Medium is the participant which is restricred in terms of the entities that may function in that role and which cannot be replaced by a projected clause. Molti lo vedevano dormire steso per terra, coperto dal mantello militare, in mezzo ai soldati di guardia. In Verbal and Behavioural processes, the Medium is the only obligatory participant and it is restricted in terms of the entities that may function in that role. Come dobbiamo comportarci durante questi momenti di aggressività? In Existential processes, the Medium is the only participant. Inoltre, sulla base delle tendenze attuali di emissione dei gas serra, vi è la stima di un ulteriore aumento della temperatura terrestre tra 1,4 e 5,8°C nel periodo fra il 1990 e il In Identifying Relational processes: is the Medium always the Token, or can it also be the Value as in English? What criterion should we adopt to decide what is Medium and what is Range (or Agent?) Queste sue eccezionali qualità erano accompagnate da terribili difetti
Silvia Samiolo - Padua22 Italian Ergativity / Agent The Agent is the participant which is encoded as Complemento dAgente in the passive, introduced by the preposition da, and as Subject in the active, if the clause already has a Medium I progressi fatti con la riduzione delle emissioni in un determinato settore possono essere facilmente compromessi dallaumento delle emissioni in un altro. If the clause has no other Medium, the participant encoded as Complemento dAgente in the passive, introduced by the preposition da, and as Subject in the active, is the Medium: I ragazzi hanno detto cose molto belle su di lei / Cose molto belle sono state dette su di lei dai ragazzi
Silvia Samiolo - Padua23 Italian Ergativity / Beneficiary and Range The Beneficiary is encoded by a Prepositional phrase with a or an oblique pronoun. Ho dato il libro a Marco – Gli ho dato il libro - Ho lavato la faccia a Piero – Gli ho lavato la faccia - Non ho detto nulla a Giacomo – Non gli ho detto nulla The Range can be encoded by a Nominal group, a prepositional phrase, an embedded clause. Ho saltato il muro di cinta – Penso spesso a Maria – Ha ammesso di esseresi sbagliato.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua24 Text analysis Text 1 Leffetto serraText 1 Text 2 AnnibaleText 2 Text 3 Lavoro ed energia cineticaText 3 Text 4 Aiuto! Morde e picchiaText 4 Text analysis
Silvia Samiolo - Padua25 Why two analyses? The Transitivity analysis shows 1.In terms of what kinds of Processes experience is encoded in the texts. e.g.: Global warming text: mainly Material and Relational; Annibale: mainly Relational, Material and Behavioural; Physics textbook: Mainly Material and Mental in the Introduction, Mental and Relational in the first paragraph (foregrounding the process of teaching / learning and creating hypotetical situations); Mothers magazine: Material and Relational in the letter, Material in the Answer)
Silvia Samiolo - Padua26 Transitivity / Ergativity: Why two analyses? 2.What participants are involved, and what roles they are assigned e.g.: Global warming: physical phenomena as Initiator, Actor, Goal and Carrier; human activities as Initiator, Actor and Carrier; noi, si and IPCC as Senser. Annibale text: Annibale and his qualities as Actor, Behaver, Carrier and Identified; Physics textbook: abstract physical phenomena as Agent, Actor, Goal, Carrier; concepts as Initiator and Carrier; exclusive noi as Sayer and Inducer; inclusive noi as Senser; Magazine article: mothers letter: the child as Actor, Goal, Target, Senser, Carrier; his parents as Sayer, his mother as Goal and Identified; experts answer: a child as Actor and Sayer, a childs behaviour as Carrier and Identified
Silvia Samiolo - Padua27 Why two analyses? The Ergativity analysis reveals: 1.Which entities are encoded as the nodal participants. Global warming: mainly physical phenomena, but also human activities and scientists; Annibale text: Annibale; Physics textbook: physical abstract phenomena and the texts author and readers; Magazine article: the specific child and his parents in the mothers letter, a child and his behaviour in the answer.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua28 Why two analyses? 2.Which entities are encoded as Agent, i.e, as external causes of the events involving the participants which are encoded as Medium e.g., Global warming: greenhouse gases, human activities and greenhouse gas emissions; Annibale: Annibale and no exhausting activity; physics textbook: physical phenomena, the concepts which are going to be studied and the texts author, mainly in the introduction (physical phenomena and impersonal si in the first paragraph) ; Magazine: the child and his parents in the letter; a child and parents in the answer.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua29 Why two analyses? 3.Whether processes are encoded as happenings (Middle clauses) or actions (effective clauses) Effective clauses are more frequent in the first excerpt from the physics textbook and in the Magazines answer (about half of the processes are Effective). They are the least frequent in the second excerpt from the physics textbook Effetto serra: 7/30 = about ¼ Annibale: 4/20 = ¼ Physics I: 6/13 = about ½ Physics II: 2/14 = about 1/7 Magazine I: 5/19= about ¼ Magazine II: 5/13 = between ½ and 1/3
Silvia Samiolo - Padua30 Why two analyses? Another aspect which the transitivity analysis can reveal is whether the Ergative (causation) or the Transitive (action-and-impact) model of reality is foregrounded. According to Halliday and Matthiessen (2004: 285), the Ergative model is foregrounded in scientific English. When Effective Material clauses consist of an Agent/Initiator and a Medium/Actor, we can say that the Causation model is foregrounded. In the Global warming text, there is one analytical causative construction and one construction with an ergative verb. The other 5 transitive Material processes have the Actor as Agent – the action-and-impact model is foregrounded In the Physics textbook chapter introduction, there are 4 analytical causative constructions, one of which also has an ergative verb (ampliare), and just two effective Material clauses with the Actor as Agent, both in embedded clauses – the causation model is foregrounded In the first paragraph from physics textbook, there are just two effective Material processes, with the Actor as Agent.
Silvia Samiolo - Padua31 Why two analyses? All in all, a joint analysis of Transitivity and Ergativity can reveal how reality is construed and reflected in texts in terms of: Kinds of processes and participants Actions vs. happenings Action-and-impact vs. causation Participants which are crucially involved vs. participants which cause events to happen or which impact other entities
Silvia Samiolo - Padua32 Final remarks Further study and corpus investigation required To complete the model and solve some open issues (e.g., Identifying possessive processes; Medium in Mental processes; Medium and Agent or Range in Identifying clauses); To establish whether the Causation model is as important in Italian as it is in English, in what regeisters it is foregrounded and the respective role of Ergative verbs and Analytical causative constructions therein; To explain the phenomenon of the inaccusative construction in Italian; To correct anything incorrect or wrong in this first description of Italian transitivity
Silvia Samiolo - Padua33 Bibliography / 1 Caffarel, A., 1997 Models of transitivity in French: a systemic-functional interpretation, in Simon-Vanderbergen et al., eds, Reconnecting Language. Morpholgy and Syntax in Functional Perspectives, Benjamins: Amsterdam, Davidse, K., 1992, Transitive/ergative: The Janus-headed grammar of actions and events. In M. Davies and L. Ravelli (eds.), Advances in Systemic Linguistics. London: Pinter, Dixon, R. M. W., 1994, Ergativity, Cambridge: CUP Eggins, S., 2004, An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics, London, New York: Continuum, pp Halliday, M.A.K., 1971, Linguistic function and literary style. An Inquiry into the Language of William Goldings The Inheritors, in S. Chatman (ed.), Literary Style: A Symposium. London and New York: Oxford University Press, pp Halliday, M.A.K.,  2003, Langauge and the order of nature, in Webster, J. (ed.), The Collected Works of M. A. K. Halliday, Volume 3: On Language and Linguistics, London: Continuum 2003,
Silvia Samiolo - Padua34 Bibliography / 2 Halliday, M.A.K., Matthiessen, C.M.I.M., Construing Experience through Meaning: a language-based approach to cognition. London: Continuum, Halliday, M.A.K. and Matthiessen, C.M.I.M, 2004, An Introduction to Functional Grammar, London: Arnold, 2004 Hasan, R. and Fries, P.H., eds, On Subject and theme: a discourse functional perspective, Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1995: xiii-xlv Martin, J. R., Transitivity in Tagalog: a Functional Interpretation of Case, in Berry et al., eds, Meaning and Form: Systemic Functional Interpretations, ed. by M. Berry, C. Butler, R. Fawcett, G. Huang, Norwood: Ablex, 1996, McGregor, W., 1990, Language and Ideology of a Police Tracker Story in Goonyiandi, in Halliday et al., eds, Learning, Keeping and Using Language: selected papers from the eigth world congress of applied linguistics, Amsterdam: Benjamins, pp
Silvia Samiolo - Padua35 Bibliography / 3 McGregor, W., 2002, Ergative and Accusative Patterning in Warrwa, in K. Davidse and B. Lamiroy (eds), The Nominative and Accusative and their counterparts. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamin Publishing Company, Renzi, l., G. Salvi and A. Cardinaletti (eds), 1995, Grande Grammatica Italiana di Consultazione, Vol, III: Tipi di Frase, Deissi, Formazione delle Parole, Bologna: Il Mulino, pp Salvi, G. and Vanelli, L., 2004, Nuova Grammatica Italiana, Bologna: Il Mulino, pp Taylor Torsello, C., 1992, English in Discourse: a course for language specialists, II. Padua: CLEUP