Friday, 20 April 2018

Distinguishing Mental And Attributive Clauses: Submodifiers

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 275):

Submodifiers like so, very, too go with nominal groups but not with verbal groups: we can say I was very afraid of it but not I very feared it; you’re not too keen on it but not you don’t too want it. All the words listed in Sensing as Attribute and as Process as ‘adjective/participle’, glad, sorry, worrying, frightening, etc., readily accept these submodifying items; hence a clause featuring be + worrying, frightening etc. is likely to be ‘relational’ rather than ‘mental’.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

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4 Criteria For Distinguishing Mental And Attributive Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 274, 275, 275n):
There is overlap here between ‘mental’ and ‘relational’ clauses, and some clauses such as I was scared, could be interpreted either way. There are four main indicators: (1) submodification; (2) marked phase; (3) tense; and (4) clause structure. …
But these four criteria do not always coincide, and not every instance can be clearly assigned to one category or the other.¹
¹ Thus we find clauses where the participial form of the mental process verb is submodified but where the Phenomenon is also present in the form it takes in a ‘receptive’ clause; for example: she was very intrigued by alternative ideas; I was very depressed by some feedback I was getting.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Semiotic Domain Of Attribution: Qualities Of Sensing

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 273-4):
Within the semiotic domain of attribution, there is one variety of ‘attributive’ clause in which the Attribute denotes a quality of sensing equivalent to the Process of a ‘mental’ clause. … ‘Relational’ clauses with a quality of sensing fall into two types: those which match the like [‘emanating’] type of ‘mental’ clause, with Carrier equivalent to Senser; and those which match the please [‘impinging’] type of ‘mental’ clause, with Carrier equivalent to Phenomenon. … many of the Attributes are evaluative in nature; this type of clause is an important grammatical strategy in the enactment of appraisal.

Blogger Comment:

For example, from Yes, Minister

Jim Hacker:                      I'm a curious person.               [Carrier equivalent to Senser]
Sir Humphrey Appleby:     You certainly are, Minister.     [Carrier equivalent to Phenomenon]

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Domain Of Attribution: Material Or Semiotic

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 272-3):
… ‘relational’ clauses may construe both ‘outer experience’ [material] and inner experience [mental]. So both these modes of experience are included within the domains of attribution of an ‘attributive’ clause; but these domains transcend the two modes. In particular, ‘inner experience’ is generalised to include not only subjective sensations but also attributes that are construed as objective properties of macrothings [acts] and metathings [facts] … The general contrast in domains of attribution is thus not that of material vs mental but rather ‘material’ vs ‘semiotic’. The attributes assigned to the carrier in an ‘attributive’ clause are either material ones or semiotic ones, and the ‘thing’ serving as carrier has to be of the same order as the attribute.   Thus with true as Attribute, the Carrier has to be a metathing – represented by a fact clause … or by it, that, this referring to a fact …

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Inceptive Attribution: Collocation Patterns

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 272):
Clauses of ‘inceptive’ attribution are subject to collocational patterns between Process: verb and Attribute: adjective; for example go + mad, run + dry, turn + sour, fall + ill. And the collocational pattern may also involve the Head noun of the nominal group serving as Carrier, as with Process: run + Attribute: dry, where the Carrier includes a noun such as well, lake, river, sea, water supply, tap; blood bank; mouth

Friday, 13 April 2018

Time Phased Attribution: Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 272):
In the case of ‘time phase’, in particular ‘inceptive’, the tense may be like that of ‘material’ clauses rather than like that of ‘relational’ ones; … That is, coming into being is construed on the same model as activities as far as time is concerned; but it is still construed as a configuration of being, with Carrier (the scope of European trade) + Process (was becoming) + Attribute (oceanic and worldwide). If the Attribute is an ‘entity’ rather than a ‘quality’, the nominal group realising it may be marked by the preposition into; alongside ‘become’ + nominal group, we thus have ‘turn’, ‘grow’ + into + nominal group…

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Phase Of Attribution: Neutral Or Phased

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 271-2):
Like other processes, processes of attribution unfold through time. In the unmarked case, the phase of the unfolding is left unspecified (‘neutral’); alternatively, the phase is marked as either (1) ‘time phase’ – ‘inceptive’ (e.g. become, go, grow, turn) or ‘durative’ (e.g. keep, remain) or (2) ‘reality phase’ – ‘apparent’ (e.g. seem, appear), ‘perceptive’ (e.g. look, sound, taste) or realised (e.g. prove, turn out)…

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Qualitative Process With Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 271n):
The verbs reek, drip and ooze are used in the sense of ‘be [over-]ful’ or ‘have [too] much of’ (shading into the ‘possessive’ area); but they always seem to be configured with a nominal group, introduced by a preposition in the case of drip and reek, and this element can be interpreted as Attribute: it certainly reeks to me of sexual exploitation; … It drips with press agentry; Greenoak’s book drips with bird lore like no other; she oozes self-confidence; … it lacks substance and oozes mediocrity.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Quality Attribution: Qualitative Verbs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 271):
Verbs of this kind include  
  • 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

Monday, 9 April 2018

Quality Attribution: Qualitative Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 271):
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.)

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Common Circumstance Types With Mental Qualitative Attributes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 271):
Certain circumstances are common with particular types of attribution. For example, circumstances of Cause, Matter and Angle are common with ‘mental’ qualities as Attribute
  • [Cause:] I did get angry with him;
  • [Matter:] so I think we have to be a bit sensible about what we are doing;
  • [Angle:] it’s all Greek to me;

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Qualifier Of Epithet/Head vs Circumstance [Diagnostic]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 270-1):
These may be difficult to differentiate from circumstantial elements in the transitivity structure of the clause. To differentiate them in analysis, we can apply textual probes: in principle, being an element of the clause, a circumstance is subject to all the different textual statuses brought about by theme, theme predication and theme identification.
Thus with it in so you have to be beautiful with it is a circumstance (of Accompaniment), if we interpret the clause to mean ‘so you and it [silver] have to be beautiful together’, since it can be Theme (so with it you have to be beautiful rather than so it you have to be beautiful with) and predicated Theme (so it is with it that you have to be beautiful rather than so it is it that you have to be beautiful with). 
In contrast, a Qualifier cannot on its own be given a textual status in the clause since it is a constituent of a nominal group, not of the clause; so it can only be thematic together with the rest of the nominal group that it is part of. …
However, there is a considerable degree of indeterminacy in this area …

Friday, 6 April 2018

Adjectives In Verbal Group Complexes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 270n):
Note that sequences of ‘verb: be + adjective + verb’ such as be eager to do, be keen to do, be willing to do are interpreted as verbal group complexes, as in she was terribly keen to get out of London. Note that unlike adjectives serving as Epithet/Head in nominal groups functioning as Attribute, these adjectives cannot be expanded with nouns serving as Thing/Head; contrast he is keen : he is a keen fellow, which is fine, with he is keen to finish the job : he is a keen fellow to finish the job, which does not seem possible. Note also the pattern of ellipsis: he is keen to do it, but he isn’t able to [Ø: do it].

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Qualitative Attributes Realised By Epithets Submodified By Degree: Comparative

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 270):
Qualitative Attributes are, as noted, realised by nominal groups with Epithet as Head. The Epithet is realised by an adjective (or participial verb form), which is frequently submodified by adverbs of degree such as very, extremely, greatly, including the comparative adverbs as; more, most; less, least; too. The comparatives may be expanded by a standard of comparison introduced by as, than; for. These are either phrases or clauses and are placed after the Head/Thing, in the same position as post-modifying Qualifiers; for example:
I think mum’s more upset than he is.
Nothing gets past those kids. They’re as sharp as old razor blades.
That’s just tiny, too tiny for words.
Structurally such expressions are Submodifiers within the Epithet rather than Qualifiers; but nominal groups with Epithet as Head may also be constructed with Qualifiers:
She’s not very interested in the food.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Qualitative Characterisation Through Entity Attribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 270):
Attribution of the ‘entity’ kind approaches qualitative attribution when the Thing in the nominal group is a very general one such as thing, person or fellow.  Thus in I started it in Paris in late ‘51 with a guy called Harold Humes, who was an absolutely brilliant fellow but rather erratic, the attributive nominal groups an absolutely brilliant fellow (Thing/Head) and rather erratic (Epithet/Head) are both qualitative characterisations;

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Metaphorical Variant Of Quality Attribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 268n):
There is a metaphorical variant, where the Attribute is realised by of + a nominal group with a nominalisation as Thing/Head; for example, of crucial importance in: In India now, the question of the minorities and how to satisfy their aspirations is of crucial importance. The congruent version is ... is crucially important.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Entity vs Quality Attribution [Diagnostic: Realisation]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 268):
The two kinds of Attribute differ in how they are realised: entity Attributes are realised by nominal groups with Thing as Head, e.g. architect in an architect; quality Attributes are realised by nominal groups with Epithet as Head, e.g. very generous. With the latter, the Thing is thus implicit; the general sense is ‘one’ – that is, the class of the Thing is presumed from the context.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Membership Specification: Entity Or Quality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 268):
The class is specified either
  • by naming the class itself by reference to the entity that constitutes the class, as in What did your father do? – He was an architect, or 
  • by naming a criterion for class-membership by reference to a quality or qualities of the entity that constitutes the class, as in The New Yorker is very generous.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Types Of Intensive Attribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 268):
Within clauses of intensive attribution, we can distinguish three simultaneous contrasts:
(i) the class denoted by the Attribute may be defined by reference to an entity or to a quality;
(ii) the process of attribution may be neutral or phased; and
(iii) the domain of attribution may be either material or semiotic.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Distinguishing ‘Attributive’ Clauses From ‘Identifying’ Clauses: Reversibility

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 268)
The ['attributive'] clauses are not reversible: there are no ‘receptive’ forms, such as complete nonsense is sounded by your story; while clauses such as a poet is Paula, wise is Sarah, are archaic or literary variants, not systemically agnate forms.

Blogger Comments:

[1] Note that, in the case of ASSIGNMENT, there are ‘receptive’ forms in attributive mode:

the crocodiles
the tourists
Process: attributive

the tourists
were thought
by the crocodiles
Process: attributive

[2] Note the 'Hamlet Factor' of such thematically motivated agnates as:

the cheesemakers
Process: attributive

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Distinguishing ‘Attributive’ Clauses From ‘Identifying’ Clauses: Interrogative Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 268):
The interrogative probe for such [‘attributive’] clauses is what? how? or what…like?, e.g. what is Paula?, how did the minister seem?, what will today’s weather be like?

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Distinguishing ‘Attributive’ Clauses From ‘Identifying’ Clauses: Lexical Verb

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 268, 269):
The lexical verb in the verbal group realising the [attributive] Process is one of the ‘ascriptive’ classes: see Table 5-14. If the Attribute is realised by a nominal group with a common noun as Head without a pre-modifying adjective, it is usually expressed as if it was a circumstance (with a preposition following the verb, as indicated in the table; for example: he grew old but he grew into a man); Attributes with noun Head are rare with the verbs keep, go and get, where they would be highly ambiguous.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Distinguishing ‘Attributive’ Clauses From ‘Identifying’ Clauses: Indefiniteness

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 268):
The nominal group functioning as Attribute construes a class of thing and is typically indefinite: it has either an adjective or a common noun as Head and, if appropriate, an indefinite article … It cannot be a proper noun or a pronoun since these do not construe classes.  (Thus he is Charles Darwin would be interpreted as ‘identifying’; but if we say he is another Charles Darwin, the clause is ‘attributive’ and the proper name Charles Darwin has been re-construed as the common noun – the name of a class of people that are like Charles Darwin.)

Monday, 26 March 2018

Attributive Mode: Carrier & Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 267):
In the ‘attributive’ mode, an entity has some class ascribed or attributed to it. Structurally, we label this class the Attribute, and the entity to which it is ascribed is the Carrier — the ‘carrier’ of the ‘attribute’. … This type of clause is a resource for characterising entities serving as Carrier; and it is also a central grammatical strategy for assessing by assigning an evaluative Attribute to a Carrier.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Attributive Vs Identifying Mode: Reversibility

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 265):
The ‘identifying’ ones are reversible … The ‘attributive’ ones are not reversible …

Blogger Comment:

Note that, in the case of ASSIGNMENT, there is a distinction in VOICE in attributive mode:

the tourists
the crocodiles
Process: attributive

the crocodiles
were thought
by the tourists
Process: attributive