Sunday, 18 February 2018

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Macrophenomenal Clauses: Receptive Variant Or…?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 252):
One of the interesting features of ‘macrophenomenal’ clauses is the form of what would seem to be the ‘receptive’ variant: instead of the expected the sand dredger heading for the cruiser was seen by him, where the whole Phenomenon is the Subject, we are much more likely to get the sand dredger was seen (by him) heading for the cruiser, where only the Subject of the non-finite clause serving as Phenomenon is ‘picked out’ to serve as the Subject of the ‘mental’ clause. For example:
Smoke was seen billowing from the police headquarters after an explosion.
This might suggest a different analysis of macrophenomenal clauses: what appears to be the ‘receptive’ variant could be interpreted not as a ‘receptive’ variant of a ‘macrophenomenal’ clause but rather as a clause with a verbal group complex serving as Process, was seen billowing, on the model of the sand dredger was rumoured (said) to be heading for the cruiser. Such constructions could be interpreted as markers of evidentiality – of the nature of the evidence for the information being negotiated.
Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 252n):
A receptive variant such as the sand dredger heading for the cruiser wasn’t spotted by the navy would in fact be ambiguous: it could be a macrophenomenon, but alternatively heading for the cruiser might be an embedded relative clause. These two are significantly different in meaning. The interpretation as embedded relative clause would not be plausible where the non-finite clause occurs after the process of perception. 

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Macrophenomenal Mental Clauses: Realisation Of Acts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 252):
The non-finite clause realising an act is either a present participial one … or an infinitival one without the ‘infinitive marker’ to … The difference between them is a temporal one: the participial clause represents the process as unbounded in time, while the infinitival one represents it as bounded in time.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Macrophenomenal Mental Clauses: Acts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251-2):
In a ‘macrophenomenal mental’ clause, the Phenomenon is realised by a non-finite clause denoting an act; … An act is a configuration of a process, participants involved in that process and possibly attendant circumstances … Macrophenomenal Phenomena are typically restricted to one subtype of ‘mental’ clause — clauses of perception: the act is seen, heard, tasted or perceived in some other way; but it is not normally thought, felt emotionally, or desired.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Macrophenomenal & Metaphenomenal Mental Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251):
… the concept of ‘thing’ is extended in ‘mental’ clauses to include macrophenomenal clauses where the Phenomenon is an act and metaphenomenal clauses where the Phenomenon is a fact.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Material Participants Are 'Things' Only

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251):
In a ‘material’ clause, every participant is a thing; that is, it is a phenomenon of our experience, including of course our inner experience or imagination — some entity (person, creature, institution, object, substance or abstraction).  Any of these ‘things’ may also, of course, be the object of consciousness in a ‘mental’ clause;

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Phenomenon: Thing, Act, Fact

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251):
… the set of things that can take on this rôle in the clause is not only not restricted to any particular semantic or grammatical category, it is actually wider that the set of possible participants in a ‘material’ clause. It may be not only a thing but also an act or a fact.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Phenomenon [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251):
… that which is felt, thought, wanted or perceived …

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Senser Vs Actor

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 250):
While the Senser is construed as being endowed with consciousness in ‘mental’ clauses, there is no trace of this pattern in ‘material’ clauses. In ‘material’ clauses, no participant is required to be human, and the distinction between conscious and non-conscious beings simply plays no part. The Actor of a ‘material’ clause is thus much less constrained than the Senser of a ‘mental’ clause.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

'Conscious Being'

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 250):
‘Conscious being’ typically means a person or persons; but as the following examples illustrate, a human collective (the British public, the whole house, the world) can also be construed as conscious:
I think the British public doesn’t dislike force provided that it’s short, sharp and rewarding.
Surely you don’t want the whole house to know of this occurrence?
The judging must come from one’s own experience, one’s own conscience, and understanding. What the world thought didn’t matter.
It can even be a product of human consciousness:
The film imagines that the FBI imported a free-lance black operative to terrorise the town’s mayor into revealing the murderers’ names.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Time As Senser

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 250n):
There is one type of ‘mental’ clause of perception where the Senser is a period of time and the Process is either see or find, as in Summer finds campers and hikers descending on the mountains in throngs; Ten minutes later saw us speeding through London. These are metaphorical constructions where a circumstance of Time has been construed as if it were a Senser.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Other Possible Realisations Of Senser

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 249n):
In languages with case marking, the Senser — or certain types of Senser — may be in the dative case, as in Hindi and Telugu, setting it formally apart from the Actor.  In some languages, the Senser is realised by a nominal group denoting a certain body part, as in Akan (cf English it breaks my heart, it blows my mind).

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Endowing With Consciousness

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 249):
Which particular creatures we choose to endow with consciousness when we talk about them may vary according to who we are, what we are doing or how we are feeling at the time; different registers show different preferences. Pets, domestic animals and other higher animals are often treated as conscious; the owner says of the cat she doesn’t like milk, whereas someone who is not a cat lover, or who has been annoyed by that particular specimen, is more likely to refer to the animal as it. But any entity, animate or not, can be treated as conscious; and since mental process clauses have this property, that only something that is being credited with consciousness can function in them as the one who feels, thinks, wants or perceives, one only has to put something into that role in order to turn it into a conscious being.

Blogger Comment:

 e.g. Heliotropic plants must know where the sun is.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Senser: Significant Feature

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 249):
In a clause of ‘mental’ process, there is always one participant who is human; this is the Senser, introduced above: the one that ‘senses’ – feels, thinks, wants or perceives, for example, Mary in Mary liked the gift. More accurately, we should say human-like; the significant feature of the Senser is that of being ‘endowed with consciousness’. Expressed in grammatical terms, the participant that is engaged in the mental process is one that is referred to pronominally as he or she, not as it.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Properties Differentiating Material And Mental Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 248):
The category of ‘mental process clauses’ turns out to be grammatically distinct from that of material process clauses on the basis of a number of properties; these are set out in Table 5-7 …

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Distinguishing *Grammatical* Categories

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 248):
Obviously clauses construing doing and clauses construing sensing are different in meaning, but that is not enough to make them constitute distinct grammatical categories. There are indefinitely many ways of drawing lines on purely semantic grounds, for example, by invoking contextual considerations ‘from above’, as we do when we describe the semantic strategies specific to a particular situation type; but the question we are concerned with here is which of these have systematic repercussions in the grammar.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Grammatical Labels

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 247):
It might be argued … that since grammatical and semantic categories are not in one-to-one correspondence, then if we use grammatical terms that are semantic in import (as nearly all grammatical terms are) we cannot expect them to be appropriate for all instances. The reasoning is quite valid; grammatical labels are very rarely appropriate for all instances of a category — they are chosen to reflect its central or ‘core’ signification ( … ‘prototype’ …). These core areas are the central region for each process type … and the non-core areas lie on the borders between the different process types, shading into one another as the colours of a colour spectrum.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Mental Clauses Of Perception

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 246-7):
There is one further type of ‘mental’ clause: I can feel something on my foot. This is a clause of perception, the can feel as the Process, I as the Senser and something on my foot as the Phenomenon being perceived. Such clauses are similar to emotive and cognitive ‘mental’ clauses in that the Senser is construed as a conscious being. But they also have properties that set them apart from the other subtypes of ‘mental’ clause. For example, while Pat could have said I feel something on my foot with the Process in the simple present, she has used a modulation of readiness instead – can feel. This is quite common with ‘mental’ clauses of perception, as with Can you see those pelicans flying across the lagoon alongside Do you see .... This example also illustrates another feature specific to clauses of perception: what is construed as the phenomenon being perceived can be a thing (such as cockroach); but it can also be an act, realised by a non-finite clause, as in I can feel [[something crawling up my foot]].

Thursday, 1 February 2018


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 246):
… the relationship between the ‘mental’ clause and the ‘idea’ clause is one of projection: the ‘mental’ clause projects another clause or set of clauses, giving them the status of ideas or the content of consciousness.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Mental Clauses Of Cognition

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 246):
They are able to set up another clause or set of clauses as the content of thinking — as the ideas created by cognition.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Why Projected Clauses Are Not Clause Constituents

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 246):
They do not serve as Complements in the ‘mental’ clause since we do not find ‘receptive’ variants with them as Subject …

Monday, 29 January 2018

Mental Clauses Of Emotion: Gradability

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 245-6):
The verbs serving as [emotive mental] Process are lexically gradable; they form points on a scale … expressing degrees of affection. … This property of lexical and grammatical gradability is typical of ‘mental’ clauses construing emotions.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

The Complement Of An ‘Emanating’ Mental Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 245):
In contrast to the Subject, the Complement is realised by a nominal group that can denote entities of any kind

Saturday, 27 January 2018

The Subject Of An ‘Emanating’ Mental Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 245):
… the Subject is a nominal group denoting a conscious being

Friday, 26 January 2018

Mental Clauses Vs Material Clauses [Diagnostic: Unmarked Present Tense]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 245):
When the clause refers to present time, the tense of the verbal group serving as [mental] Process is the simple present rather than the present–in–present that is characteristic of ‘material’ clauses.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Emanating Vs Impinging Mental Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 245):
This process of sensing may be construed either as flowing from a person’s consciousness [‘like’ type] or as impinging on it [‘please’ type]; but it is not construed as a material act.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Mental Clauses [Characterisation]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 245):
While ‘material’ clauses are concerned with our experience of the material world, ‘mental’ clauses are concerned with our experience of the world of our own consciousness. They are clauses of sensing: a ‘mental’ clause construes a quantum of change in the flow of events taking place in our own consciousness.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Process Type Determines Participant Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 244-5):
It is important to recognise … that the functions assumed by the participants in any clause are determined by the type of process that is involved.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Abstract Material Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 243-4):
Material clauses do not necessarily represent concrete, physical events; they may represent abstract doings and happenings … But as the process becomes more abstract, so the distinction between Actor and Goal becomes harder to draw. … Even with concrete processes, however, we have to recognise that there are some where the Actor is involuntary, and thus in some respects like a Goal … With more abstract processes, we often find ‘operative’ and ‘receptive’ forms side by side with little difference between them … There is still some difference: if the ‘receptive’ form is used, we can probe for an explicit Actor — we can ask who by?, whereas with the ‘operative’ form we cannot.  And this is what justifies us in still giving a different functional status to the participant in the two cases.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Case Of A Circumstance Being Inherent In The Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 243):
There are also, in fact, certain circumstances that are construed as inherent in a process. This happens with ‘enhancing’ clauses construing movement of a participant through space: here a circumstance of Place represents the destination of that movement and may be inherent in the process.  For example:
Did these books and articles put groceries on the table?
They carved its image into stone || and placed it on their temples and palaces.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

On The Cline Between Participants And Circumstances

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 243):
Scope, Recipient and Client are clearly treated by the grammar as participants; for example, they are all candidates for subjecthood in a ‘receptive’ clause. However, at the same time, they are clearly located some distance towards circumstances on the cline between participants and circumstances, which is reflected in the fact that that, under certain conditions, they may be marked by a preposition [minor Process].

Friday, 19 January 2018

Attribute: Material Vs Relational Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 243):
In a ‘material’ clause, the Attribute is always an optional added specification. In contrast, it is an inherent part of the configuration of a ‘relational’ clause and cannot be left out.

Blogger Comment:

But note that the Attribute is sometimes conflated with the relational process, as in Accuracy matters.