Overview

If reference is that to which meaning “speaks” (metaphorically, because this is a multimodal grammar), agency is the patterning of action. Reference is the addressed; agency is the addressing. Three features of agency are event, role and conditionality. These are thoroughly named and analyzed in a linguistics of the clause, though the complexities at times confound. They are not so thoroughly analyzed in the other forms of meaning that are also of concern to us. Our focus is at a broader level of generality than linguistics, one that crosses multiple forms. Agency is constituted in events (predication by means of which entity into action fold into each other; and transactivity or the relations of entities-in-action to each other). Agents assume roles (as self, other, or thing). Different nuances of conditionality are established in the relations of entities and action (assertion, requirement, and possibility).

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