Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Modality & Orientation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 149):
… explicitly stating [or leaving implicit] the source of the conviction: it is either being said to be objective … or presented as a subjective judgement on the speaker’s part …

Modality, Polarity & Value

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 149):
This paradigm shows that probability is organised as a system of three values: a median value ‘probable’ where the form of the negative is the same whether it is attached to the modality or the proposition, and two outer values, high ‘certain’ and low ‘possible’, where there is a switch from high to low, or from low to high, if the negative is shifted between the two domains. …
Exactly the same set of possibilities arises in respect of the three other dimensions of modality. … It is this parallelism in their construction of semantic space, all lying within the region between the two poles of positive and negative, that gives the essential unity to this particular region of the grammar.

Modality, Mood & Speech Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 148):
Thus once a proposal becomes discretionary, it shifts into the indicative mood to accommodate the modal operator; this also means it take[s] the full indicative person system, not the restricted person system of the imperative. Modalised clauses are thus in principle ambiguous as between proposition and proposal

Realisations Of Modulation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 147):
Again, both obligation and inclination can be expressed in either of two ways, though not, in this case, by both together:
(a) by a finite modal operator … ;
(b) by an expansion of the Predicator …
(i) typically by a passive verb …
(ii) typically by an adjective … .

Polarity, Modality & Proposals: Modulation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 147):
In a proposal, the meaning of the positive and negative pole is prescribing and proscribing; positive ‘do it’, negative ‘don’t do it’. Here also there are two kinds of intermediate possibilities, in this case depending on the speech function, whether command or offer.
(i) In a command, the intermediate points represent degrees of obligation: ‘allowed to/supposed to/required to’;
(ii) in an offer, they represent degrees of inclination: ‘willing to/anxious to/determined to’.

Realisations Of Modalisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 147):
Both probability and usuality can be expressed in the same three ways:
(a) by a finite modal operator in the verbal group … ;
(b) by a modal Adjunct of (i) probability or (ii) usuality … ;
(c) by both together.

Polarity, Modality & Propositions: Modalisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 147):
In a proposition, the meaning of the positive and negative pole is asserting and denying; positive ‘it is so’, negative ‘it isn’t so’. There are two kinds of intermediate possibilities:
(i) degrees of probability [‘either yes or no’]: ‘possibly/probably/certainly’;
(ii) degrees of usuality [‘both yes and no’]: ‘sometimes/usually/always’.

Polarity: Not

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 145, 145n):
… the negative word not occurs in two functions: either it is simply a formal or written variant of the Finite negative element n’t, in which case it is part of the Finite; or it is a distinct modal Adjunct in Mood or Residue. In the latter case it is phonologically salient and may also be tonic …
In non-finite clauses, … the not (or other negative modal Adjunct) may constitute a Mood element either on its own, or together with the Subject if there is one. … if the agnate finite clause is negative (as shown by the tag …) then the negative Adjunct functions as Mood element. If the agnate finite clause is positive … then the negative Adjunct forms part of the Residue.

Polarity: Yes & No

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 144):
… these are direct expressions of polarity, but they have more than one functional status. If they are expressing a speech function [statements], they are mood Adjuncts; if not, they are continuatives [textual Themes] and have no place in the mood structure.

Polarity & Mood Tags

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 143-4):
not does not get reduced if the verb is non-finite; and this reflects the systemic association of polarity and mood. What carries the polarity feature, positive or negative, is the speech functional component of the proposition or proposal; hence when the speaker adds a mood tag, meaning ‘please check!’, the unmarked form of the tag is the one which reverses the polarity … If the polarity in the tag remains constant, the meaning is assertive rather than seeking corroboration. It is this reversal of polarity in the tag which enables us to identify the polarity of clauses containing other negative expressions, such as no, never, no one, nowhere, seldomif the negative word is part of some element in the Residue, the clause itself may be positive

Minor Clauses & Tone

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 142):
Minor clauses have varied tones depending on their function. Greetings, and also alarms, tend to have tone 1 or tone 3; exclamations tone 5; calls (vocatives) have every possible tone in the language, with noticeable differences in meaning.

Key: Imperative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 142):
command: tone 1 (unmarked in positive)
invitation: tone 3 (unmarked in negative)
request (marked polarity): tone 13, with tonic on do/don’t
plea: tone 4

Key: Yes/No Interrogative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 142):
unmarked yes/no question: tone 2
peremptory question: tone 1

Key: WH–Interrogative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 142):
unmarked WH–question: tone 1
tentative question: tone 2
echo question: tone 2 with tonic on WH–element

Key: Declarative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 142):
unmarked statement: tone 1
reserved statement: tone 4
insistent statement: tone 5
tentative statement: tone 3
protesting statement: tone 2

Key [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 142):
The tones are not, however, simply additional markers attached to the realisation of mood. They realise distinct grammatical systems of their own, which are associated with the mood categories. The general name for systems that are realised by tone is key.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Mood & Tone: Exclamatives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 141):
Tone 5 [rise-fall] is the one most typical of exclamative clauses, where the meaning is ‘wow!’ — something that is (presented as) contrary to expectation.

Mood & Tone: Imperatives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 141):
Proposals are typically combined with tones 1 [fall] and 3 [level~low rising]. Imperative clauses, functioning as commands, typically favour tone 1, as also do modulated declaratives; but a mild command, such as a request, and also a negative command, often comes with tone 3, which has the effect of leaving the decision to the listener. For the same reason offers are commonly associated with tone 3.

Mood & Tone: Interrogatives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 141):
Within the interrogative, the yes/no type is usually found with tone 2, the ‘uncertain’ rising tone. WH–interrogatives, on the other hand, favour tone 1 [fall], because although they are asking for a missing element, the proposition itself is taken as certain … ‘certainty’ means certainty about the polarity

Mood & Tone: Declaratives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 141):
Declarative clauses most frequently combine with tone 1 [fall], the feature of certainty; but there is a secondary motif, also very common, whereby the declarative goes with tone 4 [fall-rise], showing some kind of reservation.

Imperatives Realising Suggestions (Command + Offer)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 139):
The ‘you–and–me’ type, with let’s, realises a suggestion, something that is at the same time both command and offer.

Imperatives: Let’s & Let Me

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 139):
Given its place in the paradigm, it is best interpreted as a wayward form of the Subject ‘you and I’

Imperatives: Mood Elements & Finiteness

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 138-9):
the unmarked positive has no Mood element, the verb form (eg look) is Predicator only, with no Finite in it. The other forms have a Mood element; this consists of Subject only (you), Finite only (do, don’t), or Finite followed by Subject. Any of these can be followed by a Mood tag: won’t you?, will you? — showing that the clause is finite, even though the verb is non-finite (the imperative of be is be, as in Be quiet!, not the finite form are).

Imperatives: Person

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 138):

The imperative has a different system of person from the indicative. Since the imperative is the mood for exchanging goods–&–services, its Subject is ‘you’ or ‘me’ or ‘you and me’.

Exclamations: Grammatical Realisations

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 138):
Exclamative clauses … have a distinct grammar; but other mood types may also realise exclamations; this includes yes/no interrogative clauses that are negative in polarity: … Isn’t it amazing!

Monday, 27 February 2012

WH- Element: Projected Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 137):
… the WH- element may be conflated with an element from a clause that is projected by the WH–interrogative clause; for example: 
How much chicken do you think I had, Kate?

WH- Elements & “Preposition Stranding”

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 137):
In the selection of the WH- element, the category of Complement can extend to include the minor Complement of a prepositional phrase. Here, the WH- element is conflated with the minor Complement of a prepositional phrase serving as a circumstantial Adjunct in the clause. Since the WH- element is thematic, the minor Complement of a prepositional phrase is given the status of Theme, while the minor Predicator appears within the Rheme, in the position the Adjunct has when it is not thematic

WH- Element: Function & Position

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 134-6):
The WH- element is a distinct element in the interpersonal structure of the clause. Its function is to specify the entity that the questioner wishes to have supplied. … it typically takes a thematic position in the clause. The WH- element is always conflated with one or another of the three functions of Subject, Complement or Adjunct. If it is conflated with the Subject, it is part of the Mood element, and the order within the Mood element must therefore be Subject^Finite.
If on the other hand the WH- element is conflated with a Complement or Adjunct, it is part of the Residue; and in that case the typical interrogative ordering within the Mood element reasserts itself, and we have Finite preceding Subject.

Expletives Vs Attitudinal Lexis With No Grammatical Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 134):
We should distinguish from Expletives the individual lexical items (‘swear words’) that may be sprinkled anywhere throughout the discourse and have no grammatical function in the clause (as with bloody in it’s a bloody taxation bloody policy, God).
Cf Halliday (1994: 85):
Note that individual lexical items expressing the speaker’s attitude, when incorporated into the structure of a group (usually a nominal group, like bloody in those bloody mosquitoes), have no grammatical function in the clause.

Expletives: Distribution And Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 134):
Similar, outside the structure of the Mood and Residue, and occurring in more or less the same places as Vocatives in the clause, are Expletives, whereby the speaker enacts his own current attitude or state of mind. These are perhaps on the fringe of grammatical structure; but since they participate fully in the intonation and rhythm of the clause they do figure in the analysis.

Vocatives: Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 134):
In using a Vocative the speaker is enacting the participation of the addressee or addressees in the exchange. This may serve to identify the particular person being addressed, or to call for that person’s attention; but in many dialogic contexts the function of the Vocative is more negotiatory: the speaker uses it to mark the interpersonal relationship, sometimes thereby claiming superior status or power. The Vocative is also brought in as a text signal, for example, when signing off in a telephone conversation.

Vocatives: Distribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 133):
Another element that figures in the structure of the clause as exchange, but outside the scope of the Mood and Residue, is the Vocative. This also is fairly mobile, occurring (a) thematically; (b) at the boundary between Theme and Rheme (not usually between Mood and Residue) or (c) clause–finally; and with the same intonation patterns as the comment Adjuncts. The Vocative can accompany a clause of any mood, but it is relatively more frequent in ‘demanding’ clauses (interrogatives and imperatives) than in ‘giving’ ones (declaratives).

Conjunctive Adjuncts: Neither Mood Nor Residue

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 133):
But note that they form a constituent on their own; they are not part of the Mood or the Residue.

Commonality Of Conjunctive And Modal Adjuncts Vs Circumstantial Adjuncts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 133):
What is common to the modal and conjunctive Adjuncts, as distinct from the circumstantials, is that they are both constructing a context for the clause. Thus even though the same semantic feature may be involved, for example time, it has a different significance in each case. A modal Adjunct of time, such as just, yet, already, relates closely to the primary tense, which is the ‘shared time’ of speaker and listener; a conjunctive Adjunct of time, such as next, meanwhile, locates the clause in time with respect to the preceding textual environment; and both are different from time as circumstance, such as in the afternoon. And the same item may function sometimes circumstantially and sometimes conjunctively; for example, then, at that moment, later on, again.

Conjunctive And Modal Adjuncts Vs Circumstantial Adjuncts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 132-3):
The two types of Adjuncts are also similar both in their own composition (as adverbial groups and prepositional phrases) and in how they may be differentiated from circumstantial Adjuncts. Whereas circumstantial Adjuncts fall most naturally at the end of the clause, where they carry the unmarked tonic (intonational) prominence, modal and conjunctive Adjuncts occur finally only as Afterthought and can never carry the only tonic prominence in the clause. … And while they all can occur thematically, only the circumstantial Adjuncts can normally occur as predicated Theme …

Conjunctive Adjuncts And Modal Adjuncts: Commonality Of Distribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 132):
The conjunctive Adjuncts … are not necessarily thematic; they may occur elsewhere in the clause, and in fact their distribution — where they can go, and what difference it makes to meaning — is quite similar to that of modal Adjuncts, especially those of Comment.

Conjunctive Adjuncts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 132):
… unlike modal Adjuncts, which are interpersonal in function, conjunctive Adjuncts are textual — they set up a contextualising relationship with some other (typically preceding) portion of text. The semantic basis of this contextualising function is that of the logical–semantic relationships of expansion. But the conjunctive Adjuncts construct these relationships by cohesion — that is, without creating a structural link in the grammar between the two parts.

Mood And Comment Adjuncts: Stratal Perspective

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 132):
The networks of mood and comment Adjuncts are drawn up in the perspective ‘from the same level’: they encompass just those items that function as interpersonal Adjunct. Thus they do not include expressions from the same semantic domain which do not function as Adjuncts: typically non-finite clauses, for example to be honest, to tell you the truth, come to think of it. Such expressions would be included in a network drawn up in the perspective ‘from above’.

Speech Functional (Interpersonal) Comment Adjuncts: Subtypes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 131):
The speech functional type also falls into two sub-types, qualified and unqualified. The qualified type is closely related to projection; they can be expanded by ~ speaking as in generally speaking, and if construed as a separate intonation unit they will typically take tone 4 [fall-rise]. The unqualified type, which cannot be followed by ~ speaking, are either claims of veracity (if separate, then tone 4) or signals of assurance or admission (if separate, then tone 1 [fall]; the clause is then typically tone 1 if assurance, tone 4 if admission).

Speech Functional (Interpersonal) Comment Adjuncts: Occurrence & Orientation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 131):
The speech functional (interpersonal) type may occur with either declarative or interrogative clauses, but with a change of orientation: in a declarative, they express the speaker’s angle, while in an interrogative they seek the angle of the listener. Their locations in the clause are more restricted; they strongly favour initial or final position.

Propositional (Ideational) Comment Adjuncts: Occurrence

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 129-30):
The propositional (ideational) type occur only with declarative clauses. They appear at the same locations in the clause as the mood Adjuncts — though for different reasons: they are less integrated into the mood structure, being located rather according to their significance for the textual organisation of the clause. In particular, they are strongly associated with the boundary between information units — realised as a boundary between tone groups: hence the commas that typically accompany them in writing. So they often occur medially, following the item which is prominent; otherwise, they may occur as Theme, frequently as a separate information unit, or in final position as Afterthought.

Comment Adjuncts Distinguished

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 129):
There is no very clear line between these and the Mood Adjuncts; for example, the ‘comment’ categories of prediction, presumption and desirability overlap semantically with the mood categories shown under modality. The difference is that comment Adjuncts are less closely tied to the grammar of mood; they are restricted to ‘indicative’ clauses (those functioning as propositions), and express the speaker’s attitude either to the proposition as a whole or to the particular speech function. In other words, the burden of the comment may be either ideational [propositional] or interpersonal [speech functional].

Mood Adjuncts Of Intensity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 127):
Adjuncts of intensity fall into two classes, of which again one relates to expectation.
(i) Those of degree may be total, high degree or low degree … These Adjuncts (especially the ‘total’ ones) are typically associated with interpersonally loaded Processes or Attributes; the same adverbs also function regularly as Sub-modifiers within a nominal group.
(ii) Those of counterexpectancy are either ‘limiting’ or ‘exceeding’ what is to be expected: the meaning is either ‘nothing else than, went no further than’ or ‘including also, went as far as’.
Adjuncts of intensity occur medially or finally in the clause, but seldom initially — they cannot be thematic …

Mood Adjuncts Of Temporality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 127):
Adjuncts of temporality relate to interpersonal (deictic) time. They relate either
(i) to the time itself, which may be near or remote, past or future, relative to the speaker–now; or
(ii) to an expectation, positive or negative, with regard to the time at issue.

Mood Adjuncts: Types & Positions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 126):
These are so-called because they are closely associated with the meanings construed by the mood system: modality and temporality; and also intensity. This means that their neutral position in the clause is next to the Finite verbal operator, either just before it or just after it. But there are two other possible locations: before the Subject (ie in thematic position — those of temporality and modality have a strong tendency to function as Theme) and at the end of the clause as Afterthought.

Modal Assessment: Mood & Comment Adjuncts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 126):
The distinction into mood and comment Adjunct is made on this interpersonal basis. They represent different types of assessment of the proposition or proposal.

Adjuncts Not Within The Residue

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 125):
These are the modal Adjuncts [in Mood or Comment] and the conjunctive Adjuncts [not in mood structure]. … The distinction among these different kinds of Adjuncts is a metafunctional one. … Modal and conjunctive Adjuncts are, respectively, interpersonal and textual in metafunction; hence they occur at different locations within the clause.

Discontinuous Residue

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 124-5):
The typical order of elements in the Residue is: Predicator ^ Complement(s) ^ Adjunct(s) … But … an Adjunct or Complement may occur thematically, either as a WH- element in an interrogative clause or as marked Theme in a declarative clause. This does not mean that it becomes part of the Mood element; it is still within the Residue. As a result, therefore, the Residue is split into two parts; it becomes discontinuous.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Adjunct: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 124):
An Adjunct is typically realised by an adverbial group or prepositional phrase (rather than by a nominal group). … A prepositional phrase, however, has its own internal structure, containing a Complement within it … which … could become Subject.

Three Degrees Of Interpersonal Elevation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 123-4):
We thus have three degrees of interpersonal ranking or elevation in the clause: Subject — Complement — Adjunct.

Adjunct (& Subject) [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 123):
An Adjunct is an element that has not got the potential of being Subject; that is, it cannot be elevated to the interpersonal status of modal responsibility. This means that arguments cannot be constructed around those elements that serve as Adjuncts; in experiential terms, they cannot be constructed around circumstances, but they can be constructed around participants, either actually, as Subject, or potentially, as Complement … .

Complement Vs Traditional Object/Complement

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 123):
It will be noted that the Complement covers what are ‘objects’ as well as what are ‘complements’ in traditional school grammar. But that distinction has no place in the interpersonal structure; it is imported from the experiential analysis, that of transitivity.

Complement (& Subject) [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 122-3):
A Complement is an element within the Residue that has the potential of being Subject but is not; in other words, it is an element that has the potential for being given the interpersonally elevated status of modal responsibility — something that can be the nub of the argument. It is typically realised by a nominal group. … Any nominal group not functioning as Subject will be a Complement; and this includes nominal groups of one type which could not function as Subject as they stand, namely those with adjective as Head … There is an explanation of this ‘from above’ in terms of function in transitivity: nominal groups with adjective as Head can function in the clause only as Attributes, and the Attribute cannot be mapped onto the interpersonal rôle of Subject. This is because only participants in the clause can take modal responsibility, and the Attribute is only marginally, if at all, a participant.

The Fourfold Function Of The Predicator

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 122):
(i) It specifies time reference other than reference to the time of the speech event, that is, ‘secondary’ tense: past, present or future relative to the primary tense.
 (ii) It specifies various other aspects and phases such as seeming, trying, hoping.
(iii) It specifies the voice: active or passive.
(iv) It specifies the process (action, event, mental process, relation) that is predicated of the Subject.

The Traditional Term ‘Predicate’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 121n):
['Predicate'] has been used in traditional grammar, formal grammar and logic. From a functional point of view, its use in accounts of grammar represents an attempt to characterise Rheme and/or Residue.


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 121):
The Predicator is present in all major clauses, except those where it is displaced through ellipsis. It is realised by a verbal group minus the temporal or modal operator, which … functions as the Finite in the Mood element … The Predicator itself is thus non-finite; and there are non-finite clauses containing a Predicator but no Finite element

The Residue

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 121):
The Residue consists of functional elements of three kinds: Predicator, Complement and Adjunct. There can be only one Predicator, one or two Complements, and an indefinite number of Adjuncts up to, in principle, about seven.

Semantic Function Of The Mood Element

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 120):
… the Mood element has a clearly defined semantic function: it carries the burden of the clause as an interactive event. So it remains constant, as the nub of the proposition, unless some positive step is taken to change it …

Subject: Natural Dialogic Interaction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 120):
But to see the interpersonal significance of Subject, we have to take natural dialogic interaction seriously as a source of insight into the grammar; if we only focus on monologic discourse such as narrative, Subject will appear to be the same as Theme since Subject = Theme is the unmarked mapping.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Existential ‘There’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 119n):
… this there is a pronoun. The proportionality is:
the : that : it :: a(n) : one : there

Commonality Of Theme, Subject & Medium: Anchor

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 119-20):
The guiding axiom is the metafunctional one: just as the Theme is best understood by starting from the concept of the clause as message, so the Subject is best understood by starting from the concept of the clause as exchange, a move in dialogic interaction. Each of the two can be thought of as an anchor; … the Medium plays an analogous rôle in the clause as representation.

Validity & Subject

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 119):
The notion of validity relates to the arguing of the case, if it is a proposition, or to the putting into effect, if it is a proposal. The Subject is that element in which the particular kind of validity (according to the mood) is being invested.

Predication & Truth Value

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 119):
The problem only arises when predication is interpreted in terms of truth value, since proposals — commands and offers — have no truth value. This mistake arose because predication was assumed to be an experiential relation; but it is not — it is an interpersonal relation, enacting the form of exchange between speaker and listener.

Identity Of ‘Subject’ Established From A Trinocular Perspective

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 119): 
(i) From below, it is that nominal element (nominal group or nominalised phrase or clause) that is picked up by the pronoun in the mood tag.
(ii) From round about, it is that which combines with the Finite (operator) to form the Mood element in the clause; it is also that which constitutes the unmarked Theme if the mood is declarative, and which switches place with the Finite if the mood is yes/no interrogative.
(iii) From above, it is that which carries the modal responsibility; that is, responsibility for the validity of what is being predicated (stated, questioned, commanded or offered) in the clause.


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 117):
Semantics has nothing to do with truth; it is concerned with consensus about validity, and consensus is negotiated in dialogue.

Subject As ‘Resting Point’ Of Argument

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 117):
The Subject supplies … something by reference to which the proposition can be affirmed or denied. … in a proposition this means the one on which the validity of the information is made to rest.

Polarity [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 116):
In order for something to be arguable, it has to be specified for polarity: either ‘is’ or ‘isn’t’ (proposition), either ‘do!’ or ‘don’t!’ (proposal).

The Commonality Of Primary Tense & Modality: Interpersonal Deixis

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 116):
What these have in common is interpersonal deixis: that is, they locate the exchange within the semantic space that is opened up between speaker and listener. With primary tense, the dimension is that of time: primary tense construes time interpersonally, as defined by what is ‘present’ to you and me at the time of saying. With modality the dimension is that of assessment: modality construes a region of uncertainty where I can express, or ask you to express, an assessment of the validity of what is being said.

Modality [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 116):
Modality means likely or unlikely (if a proposition), desirable or undesirable (if a proposal).

Primary Tense [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 116):
Primary tense means past, present or future at the moment of speaking; it is time relative to ‘now’. … There is no primary tense in proposals.

The Function Of The Finite Element

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 115):
The Finite element … has the function of making the proposition finite. That is to say, it circumscribes it … so that it is something that can be argued about. … It relates the proposition to its context in the speech event. … [Either] by reference to the time of speaking [ie primary tense]; [or] by reference to the judgement of the speaker [ie modality].

Structural Realisations Of Indicative Mood

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 114-5):
(1) The presence of the Mood element, consisting of Subject plus Finite, realises the feature ‘indicative’.
 (2) Within the indicative, what is significant is the order of Subject and Finite:
(a) the order Subject before Finite realises ‘declarative’;
(b) the order Finite before Subject realises ‘yes/no interrogative’;
(c) in a ‘WH- interrogative’ the order is:
(i) Subject before Finite if the WH- element is the Subject;
(ii) Finite before Subject otherwise.

The Mistaken Notion Of Subject As “Purely Syntactic”

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 112):
The Subject is not a purely formal category; like other grammatical functions it is semantic in origin.

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 120):
The notion of the Subject as a ‘purely syntactic’ element arose because it proved difficult to understand Subject + Predicate in an account of the grammar that recognised only the ideational kind of meaning; once we open up the other metafunctional spaces, just as Theme comes powerfully into the picture, so Subject becomes (equally powerful but) less mysterious.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Propositions & Proposals

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 111):
The semantic function of a clause in the exchange of information is a proposition; the semantic function of a clause in the exchange of goods–&–services is a proposal.

Grammatical Resources For Speech Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 110):
As a general rule languages do not develop special resources for offers and commands, because in these contexts language is functioning simply as a means towards achieving what are essentially non-linguistc ends. But they do develop grammatical resources for statements and questions, which not only constitute ends in themselves but also serve as a point of entry to a great variety of different rhetorical functions.

Offers & Commands

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 110):
Unlike statements and questions, these are not propositions; they cannot be affirmed or denied.

Ontogenesis Of Speech Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 109-10):
… infants typically begin to use linguistic symbols to make commands and offers at about the age of nine months, whereas it may be as much as nine months to a year after that before they really learn to make statements and questions, going through various intermediate steps along the way.

Mood Tag

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 109):
It serves to signal explicitly that a response is required, and what sort of response it is expected to be.

Postposed Subject Vs Predicated Theme

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 157):
In Theme predication, the final clause is a relative clause functioning as Post-modifier to the it (where it means ‘the thing that’, ‘the time that/when’ and so on). The clause as postposed Subject, on the other hand, is a fact clause … and it is related to the it by apposition (paratactic elaboration).
… a clause with predicated Theme always has the verb be, and has a non-predicated agnate … A clause with postposed Subject has no such agnate form; moreover such clauses are not restricted to the verb be. Being facts they typically occur in clauses where the proposition has an interpersonal loading; for example, a Complement expressing modality or comment (it is possible/unfortunate that …), or a Predicator expressing affection or cognition (it worries/puzzles me that …).

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Conjunctive Adjuncts Vs Conjunctions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 83-4):
… whereas conjunctions set up a grammatical (systemic–structural) relationship with another clause, which may be either preceding or following, the relationship established by conjunctive Adjuncts, while semantically cohesive, is not a structural one (hence they can relate only to what has gone before). These Adjuncts often are thematic; but they do not have to be.

Textual & Interpersonal Themes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 83):
… the speaker or writer is making explicit the way the clause relates to the surrounding discourse (textual), or projecting his or her own angle on the value of what the clause is saying (interpersonal) …

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Instantiation As Process

Matthiessen (1998: 5.18):
A text can be interpreted as an ongoing process of selection of features — an ongoing instantiation of a more permanent system.