The Thought Occurs

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Conflation Of Process And Attribute (Qualitative Processes)

Halliday and Matthiessen (2004: 222):
Within ‘quality’ attribution, there is a further option: a small number of qualities may be construed as a qualitative Process rather than as a qualitative Attribute. Thus, alongside will it be enough? we have will it suffice?. (Alternatively, we can interpret such clauses as having a conflation of Process and Attribute.)
Some examples of qualitative verbs (ibid.):
matter, count ‘be important’ …
suffice ‘be enough’,
abound ‘be plentiful;
figure ‘make sense’;
differ, vary ‘be different, varied’;
hurt, ache ‘be painful’;
dominate ‘be dominant’,
apply ‘be relevant’ …
do ‘be acceptable, enough’ …
remain ‘be + still’,
stink, smell, reek … ‘be smelly’ …
and a number of verbs of negative appraisal, some of them abstract versions of ‘be + smelly’, for example stink, suck
eg Giving institutional power to ignorant imbeciles really sucks.