By Mutsumi Yamamoto
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Additional resources for Agency And Impersonality: Their Linguistic And Cultural Manifestations (Studies in Language Companion Series, Volume 78)
From an anthropocentric point of view, it can be argued that a basic distinction is to be made between first person (primarily speaker(s)), second person (primarily addressee(s)) and third person (others) within the human category. ) Many scholars have argued that first and second persons are higher in animacy than third person (cf. for instance, Silverstein 1976; Foley & Van Valin 1985; Croft 1990 & 2003; Dixon 1994; Langacker 1991; Palmer 1994; Yamamoto 1999). This is partly because of the notion of ‘empathy’ which is closely associated with animacy.
As Davidson claims, attributions of agency are accusations or assignments of responsibility; it naturally follows then that non-attribution of agency means relief from responsibility. The use of a surface ‘inanimate agent’ to mitigate the sense of responsibility attributable to the ‘real’ agent is one form of the ‘impersonalisation’ of agency, which will be characterised in more detail in the following chapters. In a different guise, it can also be argued that the use of SVO clauses with ‘inanimate agents’ as the subjects represents certain epistemic attitudes of authors of a particular kind, with their mind-style (or world-view) created through their particular ideological standpoint of relieving the powerful from their responsibility.
G. “This is an important victory,” said David Howarth. Chapter 2. What is agency? h. Cambridge’s Labour MP, Anne Campbell, has supported the building plans. In a series of struggles over the future of Grantchester Meadows, the involvement of intentional human agency is amplified in the two different senses: (1) the authors maximise the agency and intentionality of the existing local authority in an attempt to accuse their actions and pursue their responsibility, and (2) the writers also highlight the agency and the good intentions of their fellow activists to seek the publicity of their actions, since these articles are written for a certain ideological propaganda.