Saturday, 31 March 2012

Adjectival Attributive <–> Nominal Attributive <–> Exemplifying Identifying

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 237):
Nominal Attributes are closer to Values than adjectival ones; and these, in turn, are very close to the ‘is an example of’ type of ‘identifying’ clause …

Attributive <–> Decoding <–> Encoding

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 236):
… the [decoding] type of ‘identifying’ clause where the Identifier is the Value (that is, the identity is given by function) is intermediate between the attributive and the other [encoding] type of ‘identifying’, the one where the Identifier is the Token (identity is given by form) …

Identifying Mode: Naming & Defining Vs Calling

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 237):
Most problematic of all are clauses of naming and defining, which lie exactly at the crossover point between the the two types of ‘identifying’ clause … Naming and defining are linguistic exercises, in which the word is Token and its meaning is Value. In calling, on the other hand, it is the name that is the Value.

Identifying Clauses: Sub-Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 234-5):
Equation … Equivalence … Rôle–play … Naming … Definition … Symbolisation (including glossing and translation) … Exemplification … Demonstration …

Friday, 30 March 2012

Token Vs Value [Diagnostic: Voice & Subject]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 233, 235):
With a verb other than be it is clear which is Token and which is Value, since … this can be determined by the voice: if the clause is ‘operative’, the Subject is Token, whereas if the clause is ‘receptive’, the Subject is Value. … With the verb be one cannot tell whether the clause is ‘operative’ or ‘receptive’; the best strategy for analysing these is to substitute some other verb, such as represent, and see which voice is chosen. … Note that in a thematic equative, the nominalisation is always the Value.

Identifying Mode: Operative Vs Receptive Voice

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 231):
… the ‘operative’ voice is the one in which the Subject is also the Token (just as, in a ‘material’ clause, the ‘operative’ is the variant in which the Subject is also the Actor).

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Identifying Mode: Decoding Vs Encoding

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 230):
… either the Token is ‘decoded’
or else the Value is ‘encoded’.
If the Token is construed as Identified and the Value as Identifier, the clause is a decoding one …
if the Value is construed as Identified and the Token as Identifier, the clause is an encoding one …
In other words, the identity either decodes the Token by reference to the Value
or it encodes the Value by reference to the Token.

Identifying Mode: Direction Of Coding

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 230):
Every ‘identifying’ clause faces either one way or the other: the structure is either Identified/Token ^ Identifier/Value … or Identified/Value ^ Identifier/Token. … It is this directionality that determines the voice of the clause — whether it is ‘operative’ or ‘receptive’.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Token & Value

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 230):
In any ‘identifying’ clause, the two halves refer to the same thing; but the clause is not a tautology, so there must be some difference between them. This difference can be characterised as a stratal one of ‘expression’ and ‘content’; or, in terms of their generalised labels in the grammar, of Token and Value — and either can be used to identify the other.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Identifier & New [Contra Fawcett]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 229):
For the present discussion, we shall take it that the Identifier always carries the tonic prominence. This is not, in fact, true; it is the typical pattern, since it is the identity that is likely to be new information, but there is a marked option whereby the Identified is construed as the New. (Note therefore that Identified–Identifier cannot simply be explained as Given–New in an ‘identifying’ clause [as Fawcett maintains]; not surprisingly, since the former are experiential functions whereas the latter are textual.)

Some Of The Uses Of Identifying Clauses In The Construction Of Knowledge

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 227):
… establishing uniqueness, glossing (technical) names, and interpreting evidence. …
Such clauses are important because they represent a strategy for expanding the naming resources of a language, in both everyday discourse and technical or scientific discourse. They underpin dictionary definitions, where the Process is often absent from the structure …

Identified And Identifier

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 227):
In the ‘identifying’ mode, some thing has an identity assigned to it. What this means is that one entity is being used to identify another: ‘x is identified by a’, or ‘a serves to define the identity of x’. Structurally we label the x–element, that which is to be identified, as the Identified, and the a–element, that which serves as identity, as the Identifier.

Material Attributive Clauses & Material Clauses: Agnation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 226):
Within the other major domain of attribution, the ‘material’ domain, we find an analogous situation where Attribute denotes a material quality equivalent to the Process of a ‘material’ clause …

Semiotic Attributive Clauses: Facts, Metaphor & Projection

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 226):
In principle, if a second figure comes into the picture representing the source or origin of the mental condition, it appears as ‘fact’ with a ‘mental’ clause but as ‘cause’ with a ‘relational’ one … But ‘relational attributive’ clauses with Attributes of this kind, agnate to the Process of a ‘mental’ clause, are regularly construed with ‘fact’ clauses … The Attribute has become, in effect, a metaphorical expression of the Process of a ‘mental’ clause, and can be accompanied by a clause that is projected.

Semiotic Attributive Clauses & Mental Clauses: Agnation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 224):
In clause structure, a ‘mental’ clause typically has (and always can have) both Senser and Phenomenon; whereas in the ‘attributive’, such other entities can only appear circumstantially as Cause or Matter (agnate to Phenomenon) or Angle (agnate to Senser).

Monday, 26 March 2012

Semiotic Domain Of Attribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 223-4):
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.

Domain Of Attribution: Material Or Semiotic

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 223):
… ‘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.

Time Phase Of Attribution: Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 222-3):
When it is specified for time, 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 …

Phase Of Attribution: Neutral Or Phased

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 222):
Like other processes, processes of attribution unfold through time. In the unmarked case, the phase of the unfolding is left unspecified (‘neutral’); alternatively, it is specified in terms of time, appearance or sense–perception

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Quality Attribution: Qualitative Verbs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 222):
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

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Quality Attribution: Qualitative Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 222):
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.)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Entity Attribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 220):
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.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Quality Attribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 220):
With the [quality Attributes], the Thing is thus implicit; the general sense is ‘one’ — that is, the class of Thing is presumed from the context. This means that the norm of the quality denoted by the Epithet depends on the context; and this is made explicit when the substitute one serves as Head.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Entity vs Quality Attribution [Diagnostic: Realisation]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 220):
entity Attributes are realised by nominal groups with Thing as Head 
quality Attributes are realised by nominal groups with Epithet as Head …

Membership Specification: Entity Or Quality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 220):
The class is specified either
by naming the class itself by reference to the entity that constitutes the class … or
by naming a criterion for class–membership by reference to a quality or qualities of the entity that constitutes the class …

Types Of Intensive Attribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 220):
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.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Carrier & Attribute Differ In Generality Not Abstraction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 236):
In attribution, some entity is being said to have an attribute. This means that it is being assigned to a class, and the two elements that enter into this relation, the attribute and the entity that ‘carries’ it, thus differ in generality (the one includes the other) but are at the same level of abstraction [unlike Token and Value].

Attributive Mode: Carrier & Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 219):
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.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Relational Clauses & Semiotic Dimensions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 215):
… we can see how the grammar models the realisational relationship between two strata in the form of relational clauses of identity [and the dimensions of instantiation and delicacy in the form of relational clauses of class–membership]. In this way, the grammar of relational clauses is based on the dimensions of a semiotic system.

Relational Clauses: Instantiation And Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 215):
In her account of ‘relational’ clauses, Davidse (1992, 1996) adopts a semiotic approach, interpreting class–membership by reference to the semiotic relation of instantiation and identity by reference to the semiotic relation of realisation.

Identifying Vs Attributive Mode

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 227-8):
Class membership [attribution] does not serve to identify … One way of looking at the ‘identifying’ clause would be to say that here we are narrowing down the class in question to a class of one … only one member in the class, a single instance.

Attributive Vs Identifying Mode: Lexical Verb

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 219):
The lexical verb in the verbal group realising the [attributive] Process is one of the ‘ascriptive’ classes.

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 228):
The lexical verb of the verbal group realising the [identifying] Process is one from the ‘equative’ classes.

Attributive Vs Identifying Mode: Interrogative Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 220):
The interrogative probe for such [‘attributive’] clauses is what? how? or what…like?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 228):
The interrogative probe for such [‘identifying’] clauses is which?, who?, which/who…as? (or what? if the choice is open–ended) …

Attributive Mode: Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 219-20):
If the Attribute is realised by a nominal group with a common noun as Head without a premodifying adjective, it is usually expressed as if it was a circumstance (with a preposition following the verb …). Attributes with noun Head are rare with the verbs keep, go and get, where they would be highly ambiguous.

Attributive Vs Identifying Mode: In/Definiteness

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 219):
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.
Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 228):
The nominal group realising the function of Identifier is typically definite: it has a common noun as Head, with the or other specific determiner as Deictic, or else a proper noun or pronoun. The only form with adjective as head is the superlative ….

Attributive Vs Identifying Mode: Reversibility

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 215):
The ‘identifying’ ones are reversible … The ‘attributive’ ones are not reversible …

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 220):
The [‘attributive’] clauses are not reversible: there are no ‘receptive’ forms

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 228):
These [‘identifying’] clauses are reversible. All verbs except the neutral be and the phased become, remain (and those with following prepositions like as in act as) have passive forms … Clauses with be reverse without change in the form of the verb and without marking the non-Subject participant …

Relational Clauses Vs Material & Mental Clauses: Salience

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 214):
Verbs in general in ‘relational’ clauses are typically non-salient, whereas verbs in ‘material’ and ‘mental’ clauses are salient at the accented syllable …

Relational Clauses Vs Material & Mental Clauses: Inherent Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 213):
In ‘relational’ clauses, there are two parts to the ‘being’: something is said to ‘be’ something else … This means that in a ‘relational’ clause in English, there are always two inherent participants … In contrast, the general classes of ‘material’ and ‘mental’ clauses have only one inherent participant (the Actor and the Senser, respectively).

Relational Clauses Vs Mental Clauses: Projection

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 213):
With a ‘mental’ clause, the phenomenon of consciousness can be construed as an idea brought into existence through the process of consciousness and represented grammatically as a separate clause … but this is not possible with ‘relational’ clauses.

Relational & Mental Clauses Vs Material Clauses: Acts & Facts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 213):
In being able to be construed not only with things as participants, but also with acts and facts, ‘relational’ clauses clearly differ from ‘material’ ones; but they resemble ‘mental’ ones in this respect.

Relational Clauses Vs Mental Clauses: Consciousness

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 212):
… while one participant in a ‘mental’ clause, the Senser, is always endowed with consciousness, this is not the case with ‘relational’ clauses.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Relational [Static] Vs Material [Dynamic] Construals By Expansion Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 212):
Thus static location in space [enhancement] is construed relationally … but dynamic motion is construed materiallystatic possession [extension] is construed relationally … but dynamic transfer of possession is construed materially … and static quality [elaboration] is construed relationally … but dynamic change in quality is construed materially

Relational Clauses: Nature Of Unfolding

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 211-2):
Unlike ‘material’ clauses, but like ‘mental’ ones, ‘relational’ clauses prototypically construe change as unfolding ‘inertly’, without any input of energy — typically as a uniform flow without distinct phases of unfolding (unlike the contrast in material processes between the initial phase and the final phase of the unfolding of a process). … and this is reflected in the unmarked present tense … (simple) present …

Relational Clauses: Viewed From Above

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 211):
Both this outer experience [material] and this inner experience [mental] may be construed by ‘relational’ clauses; but they model this experience as ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ or ‘sensing’.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Relational Clauses: Class–Membership And Identity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 214):
The configuration of Process + ‘Be-er1’ + ‘Be-er2’ opens up the potential for construing the abstract relationships of class–membership and identity in all domains of experience. Class–membership is construed by attributive clauses and identity by identifying ones. These two ‘relational’ clause types cut across the inner and outer experience of ‘mental’ and ‘material’ clauses

Relational Clauses & Nominal Groups

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 214n):
There is, however, a deeper sense in which ‘relational’ clauses are ‘nominal’: they construe the same range of relations as those of modification within the nominal group …

Relational Clauses: No Structurally Present Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 214n):
Such clauses have often been called ‘nominal clauses’, in contrast to ‘verbal clauses’, where there is a Process present in the structure of the clause. But this reflects only the view ‘from below’ and hides the fact that in languages such as Arabic ‘relational’ clauses that are marked for aspect and/or polarity typically have a structurally present Process.

Relational Clauses: Prototypical Configuration

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 213-4):
the experiential ‘weight’ is construed in the two participants, and the process is merely a highly generalised link between these two participants … Thus the verbs that occur most frequently as the Process of a ‘relational’ clause are be and have; and they are typically both unaccented and phonologically reduced … This weak phonological presence of the Process represents iconically its highly generalised grammatical nature. The limiting case of weak presence is absence; and the Process is in fact structurally absent in certain ‘non-finite’ ‘relational’ clauses in English … and in many languages there is no structurally present Process in the ‘unmarked’ type of ‘relational’ clause … Here the ‘relational’ clause is simply a configuration of ‘Be-er1’ + ‘Be-er2’.

Relational Clauses: Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 210):
‘Relational’ clauses serve to characterise and identify.

Idea Clauses Vs Fact Clauses [Diagnostic For Clause Constituents]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 206):
Thus while ‘fact’ clauses serve as the Phenomenon of a ‘mental’ clause and can therefore be made Subject and be theme–predicated, ‘idea’ clauses are not part of the ‘mental’ clause but are rather combined with the ‘mental’ clause in a clause nexus of projection.

Projecting Representations Of Or The Content Of Consciousness: Ideas

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 206):
Here the ‘mental’ clause projects another clause (or combination of clauses) as a representation of or the content of thinking, believing, presuming and so on; the projected clause is called an idea clause.

Why Projected Clauses Are Not Clause Constituents

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 199):
They do not serve as Complements in the ‘mental’ clause since we do not find ‘receptive’ variants with them as Subject …


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 199):
… 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.

Facts & Process Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 205):
Given the semiotic nature of facts, it stands to reason that they cannot serve as participants in ‘material’ clauses. When they do occur in what might appear to be a ‘material’ clauses, these clauses are abstract; and they have to be interpreted either mentally or relationally

Facts: Status Signals

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 205):
The status of the ‘fact’ clause is often signalled by the noun fact itself … or by another ‘fact’ noun such as notion, idea, possibility.

Metaphenomenon: Environment

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 205):
The most common environment for a metaphenomenal Phenomenon is that of a clause of emotion where the Phenomenon is construed as impinging on the Senser’s consciousness

Facts: Propositionalised Acts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 205n):
We could say that a fact is an act that has been propositionalised — that has been given existence as a semiotic phenomenon.

Metaphenomenal Mental Clauses: Facts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 205):
In a ‘metaphenomenal mental’ clause, the Phenomenon is realised by a (typically finite) clause denoting a fact; … A fact is on a higher level of abstraction than an ordinary thing or an act. Ordinary things and acts are both material phenomena; they can be seen, heard and perceived in other ways. Thus while an act is more complex than an ordinary thing, it still exists in the same material realm. In contrast, a fact is not a material phenomenon but rather a semiotic one: it is a proposition (or sometimes a proposal) construed as existing in its own right in the semiotic realm, without being brought into existence by somebody saying it.

Macrophenomenal Mental Clauses: Realisation Of Acts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 204):
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.

Macrophenomenal Mental Clauses: Acts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 204):
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.

Macrophenomenal & Metaphenomenal Mental Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 204):
… 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.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Phenomenon: Thing, Act, Fact

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 203):
… 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.

Phenomenon [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 203):
… that which is felt, thought, wanted or perceived …

Senser Vs Actor

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 203):
In ‘material’ clauses, … 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.

Senser: LOTEs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 201n):
In languages with case marking, the Senser — or certain types of Senser — may be in the dative case, as in Hindi and Telugu … 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 [construed on the material model]).

Senser: Significant Feature

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 201, 202, 203):
In a clause of ‘mental’ process, there is always on participant who is … 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. … But any entity, animate or not, can be treated as conscious … a human collective … a product of human conscious … a part of a person …

Mental Clauses Of Perception

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 199):
… [the potential to use] a modulation of readinesscan feel

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 199):
… what is construed as the phenomenon being perceived can be a thing … but it can also be an act

Mental Clauses Of Cognition

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 199):
They are able to set up another clause or set of clauses as the content of thinking — as the ideas created by cognition.

Mental Clauses Of Emotion: Gradability

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 198):
The verbs serving as Process are gradable; they form points on a scale … expressing degrees … This property of lexical and grammatical gradability is typical of ‘mental’ clauses construing emotions.

Mental Clause Subtypes: Indeterminacy

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 210):
Like all other experiential systems, the system of type of sensing construes experience as indeterminate: the four different types of sensing shade into one another. For example, perception shades into cognition, with I see coming to mean not only ‘I perceive visually’ but also ‘I understand’. And cognition shades into perception with clauses where remember serves as the Process; unlike ‘cognitive’ clauses in general such clauses can be construed with a macrophenomenal Phenomenon

Mental Clause Subtypes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 208):
Within the general class of ‘mental’ clauses, there are four different subtypes of sensing: ‘perceptive’, ‘cognitive’, ‘desiderative’ and ‘emotive’. These are treated by the grammar as distinct types. They differ with respect to phenomenality, directionality, gradability, potentiality and ability to serve as metaphors of modality

Monday, 12 March 2012

Mental Clauses Vs Material Clauses [Diagnostic: Probe & Substitute]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 207):
Mental processes … are not kinds of doing, and cannot be probed or substituted by do.

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

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 197-8):
When the clause refers to present time, the tense of the verbal group serving as Process is the simple present rather than the present–in–present that is characteristic of ‘material’ clauses.
Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 206):
In a ‘mental’ clause, the unmarked present tense is the simple present … But in a ‘material’ clause the unmarked present tense is the present in present …

The Complement Of An ‘Emanating’ Mental Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 198):
In contrast to the Subject, the Complement is realised by a nominal group that can denote entities of any kind

The Subject Of An ‘Emanating’ Mental Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 198):
… the Subject is a nominal group denoting a conscious being

Emanating Vs Impinging Mental Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 197):
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.

Mental Clauses [Characterisation]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 197):
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.

Transformative Material Clauses: Outcomes As Expansion Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 186):
The outcome of the transformation is an (1) elaboration, (2) extension or (3) enhancement of the Actor (‘intransitive’) or Goal (‘transitive’) …

How To Tell Transformatives From Creatives [Diagnostic]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 186):
Neither happen to or do to/with can be used [as probes] with creative clauses …

Transformative Material Clauses: Probing Actor (Medium)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 186):
The Actor of an ‘intransitive’ ‘transformative’ clause can be probed by happen to …

Transformative Material Clauses: Probing Goal (Medium)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 186):
The Goal of a ‘transitive’ ‘transformative’ clause exists before the process begins to unfold and is transformed in the course of the unfolding. It can be probed by means of do to, do with

Transformative Material Clauses: Outcomes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 185-6):
In a ‘transformative’ clause, the outcome is the change of some aspect of the Actor (‘intransitive’) or the Goal (‘transitive’). … In the limiting case, the outcome of the final phase is to maintain the conditions of the initial phase …
Unlike ‘creative’ clauses, ‘transformative’ ones can often have a separate element representing the outcome … an Attribute specifying the resultant state of the Goal. Even where the sense of outcome is inherent in the process, the outcome may be indicated by the ‘particle’ of a phrasal verb, as in shut down

Processes Of Destruction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 185):
However, processes of destruction seem to be treated by the grammar as ‘transformative’ rather than as ‘creative’ …

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Intransitive Creative Materials Vs Existentials [Diagnostics]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 185):
‘Intransitive’ ‘creative’ clauses have the sense of ‘come into existence’ and shade into clauses of the ‘existential’ process type. One difference is the unmarked present tense: it is present–in–present for material clauses … but the simple present in existential ones. Another difference is the potential for a construction with there as Subject in existential clauses, but not in creative material ones.

Creative Material Clauses: Phases

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 185):
In the category of ‘creative’ clauses, we can perhaps also include phases of creation [as where ‘started’ means ‘started to write’].

Creative Material Clauses: Outcome

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 184-5):
In a ‘creative’ clause, the outcome is the coming into existence of the Actor (‘intransitive’) or the Goal (‘transitive’). The outcome is thus this participant itself, and there is no separate element in the clause representing the outcome.

Material Clause Subtypes Differentiated By Outcome: Creative Vs Transformative

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 184):
The nature of the outcome affecting the Actor of an ‘intransitive’ clause and the Goal of a ‘transitive’ one [ie the Medium] turns out to be the general criterion for recognising more delicate subtypes of material clauses. The most general contrast is between
(i) ‘creative’ clauses, where the Actor or Goal is construed as being brought into existence as the process unfolds, and
(ii) ‘transformative’ ones, where a pre-existing Actor or Goal is construed as being transformed as the process unfolds.

Outcome Phase

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 184):
The quantum of change represented by a material clause is construed as unfolding through distinct phases, typically over a fairly short interval of time — with at least an initial phase of unfolding and a separate final phase … The final phase of unfolding is the outcome of the process: it represents a change of some feature of one of the participants in the material clause.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Material Subtypes Differentiated By Outcome Of Medium

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 184n):
… seen from a different perspective from that of the traditional transitive/intransitive model, these two functions, the intransitive Actor and the transitive Goal, are actually one and the same — the Medium. The differentiation of different sub-types of ‘material’ clauses is thus based on the combination of Medium + Process in the first instance. One might have expected that it would be based on Actor + Process instead, as the traditional model would suggest; but it turns out that although they have been favoured by philosophers of language drawing on action theory, distinctions based on Actor + Process such as animacy, potency and volitionality are less central to the system of ‘material’ clauses than distinctions based on Medium + Process. In fact, the grammar of transitivity is more centrally concerned with consciousness rather than with animacy, potency or volitionality.

Happening (Intransitive) Vs Doing (Transitive)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 180):
[The Actor] brings about the unfolding of the process through time, leading to an outcome that is different from the initial phase of the unfolding. This outcome may be confined to the Actor itself, in which case there is only one participant inherent in the process. Such a ‘material’ clause represents a happening and, using traditional terminology, we can call it intransitive. Alternatively, the unfolding of the process may extend to another participant, the Goal, impacting it in some way: the outcome is registered on the Goal in the first instance, rather than on the Actor. Such a ‘material’ clause represents a doing and we can call it transitive.


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 181):
… in English and in many other languages — perhaps all, these concepts relate more appropriately to the clause than the verb. Transitivity is a system of the clause, affecting not only the verb serving as Process, but also participants and circumstances.

Receptive Voice: Purpose

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 232):
The reason for choosing the ‘receptive’ in English is to get the desired texture, in terms of Theme–Rheme and Given–New; in particular it avoids marked information focus (which carries an additional semantic feature of contrast).

Why ‘Operative’ & ‘Receptive’?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 182n):
It is helpful to make a terminological distinction between the voice contrast of the clause — operative/receptive, and the voice contrast of the verbal group — passive/active.

How Operative & Receptive Clauses Differ

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 182):
The clauses are the same experientially; they both represent a configuration of Actor + Process + Goal. But they differ in how these rôles are mapped onto the interpersonal functions in the modal structure of the clause. In the ‘operative’ variant, the Actor is mapped on to the Subject, so it is given modal responsibility and in the ‘unmarked’ case (in a ‘declarative’ clause) it is also the Theme; and the Goal is mapped on to the Complement, so in the ‘unmarked’ case it falls within the Rheme. However, in the ‘receptive’ variant, it is the Goal that is mapped onto the Subject, so it is assigned modal responsibiity and it is also the Theme in the ‘unmarked’ case; and the Actor has the status of an Adjunct within the Rheme of the clause and, as an Adjunct, it may be left out

Clause Voice: Operative Vs Receptive

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 181-2):
if there is a Goal of the process, as well as an Actor, the representation may come in either of two forms: either operative (active) … or receptive (passive) … The contrast between ‘operative’ and ‘receptive’ is a contrast in voice open to ‘transitive’ clauses.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Material Participants Are 'Things'

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 203):
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).

On The Cline Between Participants And Circumstances

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 195):
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]. There are also, in fact, certain circumstances that are construed as inherent in a process. This happens with [outcome] ‘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.

Attribute: Material Vs Relational Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 195):
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.
[But note that the Attribute is sometimes conflated with the relational process, as in Accuracy matters.]

Depictive Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 195):
There is also a non-resultative variant of the Attribute. This is the depictive Attribute serving to specify the state in which the Actor or Goal is when it takes part in the process

Resultative Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 195):
[The Attribute] enters into ‘material’ clauses in a restricted way. In certain clauses with an ‘elaborating’ outcome, the Attribute may be used to construe the resultant qualitative state of the Actor or Goal after the process has been completed … Such Attributes are called resultative Attributes. They are only marginal participants. While they are unlike cicumstances in that they are not marked by prepositions, they are also unlike true participants in that they cannot serve as Subject. There is in fact a closely related circumstance — the resultative Rôle or ‘product’

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Scope Vs Goal: Grammatical Distinctions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 194):
… the Scope cannot be probed by do to or do with, whereas the Goal can. Since nothing is being ‘done to’ it, a Scope element can never have a resultative Attribute added within the clause, as a (transformative) Goal can … Similarly, a Scope element can never be configured with a circumstance of Rôle of the ‘product’ type. The Scope cannot be a personal pronoun, and it cannot normally be modified by a possessive [so don’t cross my path!]. Moreover, although generalised Scope–receptive clauses … are quite common, Scope–receptive clauses with specific Actors are rare. Thus while a Goal readily becomes Subject … it is unusual to make a Scope element ‘modally responsible’ in this way …

Scope: Semantic Vs Grammatical Perspectives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 194):
Semantically the Scope element is not in any very obvious sense a participant in the process — it is not directly involved in the process by bringing it about, being affected by it or benefiting from it; but grammatically it is treated as a participant. So it can become Subject of the clause

Why Express A Process As Scope?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 193):
… this structure enables us to specify further the number or kind of processes that take place. … The main reason for its prevalence is the greater potential that is open to nouns, in contrast to verbs, for being modified in different ways …

Material Clauses With Scopes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 192):
… the Scope is restricted to ‘intransitive’ clauses (with the minor exception of clauses with give. This means that a material clause consisting of ‘nominal group + verbal group + nominal group’ can be either [transitive] Actor + Process + Goal or [intransitive] Actor + Process + Scope.

Material Clauses: 'Scope' [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 192):
In contrast the Scope of a ‘material’ clause is not in any way affected by the performance of the process. Rather it either (i) construes the domain over which the process takes place … or (ii) construes the process itself, either in general or specific terms … There is not, in fact, a sharp line between these two; they really lie along a single continuum.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Material Clauses With Clients

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 192):
[Unlike Recipients] a Client may also appear in an ‘intransitive’ clause — one that has no Goal, but has either Process + Scope, … or else Process only … These last cannot appear without for

Material Clauses With Recipients

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 191, 191n):
Recipients occur only in ‘transitive transformative’ clauses of the ‘extending’ type; and within that category, they occur with those clauses that denote a transfer of the possession of goods. …
They are thus the material version of possessive relational clauses. Fawcett (1988) treats them as relational rather than as material. But in our interpretation, they are simply part of a general pattern of agnation between material clauses on the one hand and relational and existential ones on the other: creative material clauses are related to existential clauses and transformative material clauses to relational clauses (more specifically, elaborating transformation — intensive relation, extending transformation — possessive relation, and enhancing transformation — circumstantial relation).

Material Clauses: Recipient & Client

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 191):
The two functions of Recipient and Client resemble one another in that both construe a benefactive rôle; they represent a participant that is benefiting from the performance of the process. The Recipient is the one that goods are given to; the Client is one that services are done for. Either may appear with or without a preposition, depending on its position in the clause … the preposition is to with Recipient, for with Client.

Goal: Extension

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 180-1):
… another term that has been used for this function is Patient, meaning one that ‘suffers’ or ‘undergoes’ the process. … the relevant concept is more like that of ‘one to which the process is extended’. The concept of extension is in fact the one that is embodied in the classical terminology of ‘transitive’ [‘going through’] and ‘intransitive’ [‘not going through’], from which the term ‘transitivity’ is derived.

Goal (Of Impact)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 180, 181n):
The term implies ‘directed at’; … Note that ‘goal’ refers to the goal of the impact; it does not refer to the destination of motion through space.

Actor As Adjunct

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 179):
… Actor and Subject are distinct in a ‘passive’ — or ‘receptive’ — clause … Here the Actor is not interpersonally ‘charged’ with the rôle of Subject, but is rather given the lower status of Adjunct and can thus be left out …

Actor Vs Agent

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 179n):
The ‘Actor’ of a ‘material’ clause is distinct from the ‘Agent’ of an ‘effective’ clause; … Some linguists have used the two terms more or less interchangeably.

Material Clauses: Actor

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 179):
… ‘material’ clauses are clauses of doing–&–happening: a ‘material’ clause construes a quantum of change in the flow of events as taking place through some input of energy. … the source of the energy bringing about the change is typically a participant — the Actor … the ‘logical Subject’ of older terminology. The Actor is the one who does the deed — that is, the one that brings about the change.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Abstract Material Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 196):
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.

Material Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 171):
They have, for example, been the source of the traditional distinction between ‘transitive’ and ‘intransitive’ verbs.

The Different Way Material Processes Unfold Through Time

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 179-80, 180n):
… processes of the ‘material’ type tend to differ from all other types (with the partial exception of ‘behavioural’ processes …), and this is seen in how present time is reported. The unmarked tense selection is the present–in–present (eg is doing) rather than the simple present (eg does) … The present–in–present serves to narrow down the present from the extended now of habits and ‘general truths’ that is characteristic of the simple present with ‘material’ clauses … The narrowing–down effect of the present–in–present is not brought out by the names most commonly used for this tense — the ‘present progressive’, or the ‘present continuous’.

Transient Processes And Permanent Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 178):
The border between these two is indeterminate; the lexicogrammar of every language will allow considerable discretion in how phenomena are treated in discourse, and lexicogrammars of different languages draw the borderline in different places. … This is an area of considerable fluidity; but most phenomena are treated as either as process or participant, and have to be reconstrued metaphorically to change their status in the grammar …

Construing Change: Transience And Permanence

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 178):
The contrast [between participants and processes] is also reflected in in the organisation of nominal groups and verbal groups in two ways: while nominal groups have evolved the system of determination for locating referents in a referential space, verbal groups have evolved the system of tense for locating a unique occurrence of a process in time.

Construing Change: Transience And Permanence

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 177-8):
The units that realise the process, participant and circumstance elements of the clause make distinct contributions to the modelling of a quantum of change. The elements that make up the ‘centre’ of the clause — the process and the participants involved in it — construe complementary facets of the change. These two facets are transience and permanence. Transience is the experience of unfolding through time; it is construed by a verbal group serving as the process. Permanence is the experience of lasting through time and being located in (concrete or abstract) space; it is construed by nominal groups serving as participants. Thus participants are relatively stable through time, and an instance of a participant can take part in many processes … In contrast, processes are ephemeral; every instance is a unique occurrence
This contrast between participants and processes explains why there are names of individual participants — ‘proper names’, as well as names of classes of participants — ‘common nouns’, but only names of classes of processes: all lexical verbs are ‘common’ verbs.

Process Type Determines Participant Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 197):
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.

Process, Participant And Circumstance

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 178):
The concepts of process, participant and circumstance are semantic categories which explain in the most general way how phenomena of our experience of the world are construed as linguistic structures.

Processes, Participants And Circumstances

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 176-7):
This tripartite interpretation of figures … is what lies behind the grammatical distinction of word classes into verbs, nouns and the rest, a pattern that in some form is probably universal among human languages.

‘The Difference In Status Between Participants And Circumstances’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 176):
One way of looking at the situation is this. The process is the most central element in the configuration. Participants are close to the centre; they are directly involved in the process, bringing about its occurrence or being affected by it in some way … and we can say that the configuration of process + participants constitutes the experiential centre of the clause. Circumstantial elements augment this centre in some way — temporally, spatially, causally and so on; but their status in the configuration is more peripheral and unlike participants they are not directly involved in the process.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Three Subsidiary Process Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 248):
behavioural at the boundary between material and mental, verbal at the boundary between mental and relational, and existential at the boundary between relational and material.

Process Type Variation Across Languages

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 171n):
The minor process types appear to vary more across languages than the major ones. For example, in certain languages (English being one of them), existential clauses appear as a distinct type, but in other languages they may be very close to possessive and/or locative relational clauses.

Existential Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 171):
And on the borderline between the ‘relational’ and the ‘material’ are the processes concerned with existence, the existential, by which phenomena of all kinds are simply recognised to ‘be’ — to exist or to happen …

Verbal Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 171):
On the borderline between ‘mental’ and ‘relational’ are the verbal processes: symbolic relationships constructed in human consciousness and enacted in the form of language, like saying and meaning …

Behavioural Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 171):
On the borderline between ‘material’ and ‘mental’ are the behavioural processes: those that represent the outer manifestations of inner workings, the acting out of processes of consciousness and physiological states.

Subsidiary Process Types: Behavioural, Verbal & Existential

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 171):
Material, mental and relational are the main types of process in the English transitivity system. But we also find further categories at the three boundaries; not so clearly set apart, but nevertheless recognisable in the grammar as intermediate between the different pairs — sharing some features of each, and thus acquiring a character of their own.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Material, Mental & Relational Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 248):
They are the principal types in that they are the cornerstones of the grammar in its guise as a theory of experience, they present three distinct kinds of structural configuration, and they account for the majority of all clauses in a text.

Main Process Types Construed By The Transitivity Of English: Relational

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 170):
In addition to material and mental processes — the outer and inner aspects of our experience, a third component has to be supplied, before this can become a coherent theory of experience. We learn to generaliseto relate one fragment of experience to another: this is the same as that, this is a kind of the other. Here the grammar recognises processes of a third type, those of identifying and classifying; we call these relational process clauses …

Main Process Types Construed By The Transitivity Of English: Material & Mental

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 170):
There is a basic difference, that we become aware of at a very early age (three to four months), between inner and outer experience: between what we experience as going on ‘out there’, in the world around us, and what we experience as going on inside ourselves, in the world of consciousness (including perception, emotion and imagination). The prototypical form of the ‘outer’ experience is that of actions and events: things happen, and people or other actors do things, or make them happen. The ‘inner’ experience is harder to sort out; but it is partly a kind of replay of the outer, recording it, reacting to it, reflecting on it, and partly a separate awareness of our state of being. The grammar sets up a discontinuity between these two: it distinguishes rather clearly between the outer experience, the processes of the external world, and inner experience, the processes of consciousness. The grammatical categories are those of material process clauses and mental process clauses …

Process Type As Region: Core & Peripheral Areas

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 172):
The regions have core areas and these represent prototypical members of the process types; but the regions are continuous, shading into one another, and these border areas represent the fact that the process types are fuzzy categories.

Process Types: Ordering

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 171-2):
There is no priority of one kind of process over another. But they are ordered; and what is important is that, in our concrete visual metaphor, they form a circle and not a line. (More accurately still … a sphere … .) That is to say, our model of experience, as interpreted through the grammatical system of transitivity, is one of regions within a continuous space; but the continuity is not between two poles, it is round in a loop.

The Principle Of Systemic Indeterminacy

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 173):
The world of our experience is highly indeterminate; and this is precisely how the grammar construes it in the system of process type. Thus, one and the same text may offer alternative models of what would appear to be the same domain of experience, construing for example the domain of emotion both as a process in a ‘mental’ clause … and as a participant in a ‘relational’ one …
There are a number of experiential domains, such as emotion, that are given such a multifaceted interpretation by the grammar of transitivity. Such domains are experientially difficult to come to terms with, and the grammar solves the problem by offering complementary models for construing them.

Figures Construed By Transitivity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 170):
All figures consist of a process unfolding through time and of participants being directly involved in this process in some way; and in addition there may be circumstances of time, space, cause, manner or one of a few other types. These circumstances are not directly involved in the process; rather they are attendant on it.
Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 175):
A figure consists, in principle, of three components:
1 a process unfolding through time
2 the participants involved in the process
3 circumstances associated with the process.
These are organised in configurations that provide the models or schemata for construing our experience of what goes on.

Friday, 2 March 2012

The Clause Chunks The Flow Of Events Into Quanta Of Change

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 170):
Our most powerful impression of experience is that it consists of a flow of events, or ‘goings–on’. This flow of events is chunked into quanta of change by the grammar of the clause: each quantum of change is modelled as a figure — a figure of happening, doing, sensing, saying, being or having. … All such figures are sorted out in the grammar of the clause. … The grammatical system by which this is achieved is that of transitivity.  The transitivity system construes the world of experience into manageable sets of process types.  Each process type provides its own model or schema for construing a particular domain of experience as a figure of a particular kind …

The Clause: Mode Of Action & Mode Of Reflection

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 170):
Thus as well as being a mode of action, of giving and demanding goods–&–services and information, the clause is also a mode of reflection, of imposing order on the endless variation and flow of events.

The Experiential Line Of Clause Organisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 169):
… experientially, the clause construes a quantum of change as a figure, or configuration of a process, participants involved in it and any attendant circumstances.

'Marked' Option [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 207):
… this means that it is less frequent and that it carries a special interpretation.

Looking 'From Below' & 'From Around' [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 211):
Looking … ‘from below’ (how are they realised?) and ‘from around’ (what other systemic variants are possible?) …

Distinguishing *Grammatical* Categories

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 200):
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, … but the question we are concerned with here is which of these have systematic repercussions in the grammar.

Grammatical Labels

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 199):
… grammatical labels are very rarely appropriate for all instances of a category — they are chosen to reflect its central or ‘core’ signification ( … ‘prototypes’ …). 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.

Why Ranked Constituency?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 181n):
… the model we use is one of ranked constituency, where the clause and the verb constitute different ranking domains. One of the reasons for preferring the ranked constituency model is precisely the need to differentiate the clause as the domain of transitivity and the verb, or rather verbal group, as the domain of tense and other purely verbal systems.

Terms In Systems

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 174n):
Systemic terms are not Aristotelian categories. Rather they are fuzzy categories; they can be thought of as representing fuzzy sets rather than ‘crisp’ ones …

System Networks Construe A Continuous Semiotic Space

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 173):
Like all system networks, this [process typenetwork construes a continuous semiotic space.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Theme Vs Mood Element

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 162):
Unlike the Theme, which — while it is itself a property of the clause — carries forward the development of the text as a whole, the Mood element has little significance beyond the immediate sequence of clauses in which it occurs. It tends to be the overall organisation of the text that determines the choice of Theme in any particular clause, or that determines at least the general pattern of thematic choices; whereas there may be no general pattern in the choice of Subject, but only a specific propositional basis for each exchange. … Nevertheless, the ongoing selection of Subjects by a speaker or writer does give a characteristic flavour to a piece of discourse.

Embedded Clauses & Clauses Functioning As Modalities

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 162):
… these do not function as propositions or proposals — they play no part in the structure of the interaction.

Minor Clauses: Continuatives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 154):
Such items can also function on their own in dialogue, indicating that the listener is tracking the current speaker’s contribution. This has been called ‘backchannelling’ … They do not constitute a turn in their own right; rather they serve to ensure the continuity of the interaction by supporting the current speaker’s turn … In face-to-face conversation, they may of course be accompanied — or even replaced — by other, ‘paralinguistic’, indicators such as nodding.
[Note that a function of so-called High Rising Terminal tone is clearly to ‘demand’ the polarity supplied by ‘back channelling’. ~cc]

Vocatives In Major Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 154):
When a vocative functions within a major clause, it is fairly ‘loosely’ integrated: it falls outside the Mood + Residue structure.

Minor Clauses: The Absolute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 154):
… a nominal group which could be either Subject or Complement in an agnate major clause is said to have the function Absolute. This is not assigned either to Mood or Residue. The concept of ‘Absolute’ function is also relevant to headlines, labels, lists, and suchlike …

Minor Speech Functions: Alarms

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 153-4):
Alarms bear some resemblance to exclamatives, if only in voice quality; but they are addressed to another party, and they are in general derivable from the grammar of the clause — they are intermediate between major and minor clauses. Alarms include (a) warnings … (b) appeals … .  Many of these are clearly imperative and can be analysed as such: Residue only … . Other[s] are nominal groups …

Minor Speech Functions: Greetings

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 153):
Greetings include salutations … and valedictions … together with their responses … . Under this heading we could include well-wishings … . Both calls and greetings include some which are structured as clauses or nominal groups.

Minor Speech Functions: Calls

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 153):
Calls are calling to attention another person, or other entity treated as capable of being addressed: deity, spirit, [nonhuman] animal or inanimate object. These do relate to the clause as exchange; the structural function is that of Vocative … Under this heading we could include the response to a call, where relevant; typically yes on a rising tone.

Minor Speech Functions: Exclamations

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 153):
Exclamations are the limiting case of an exchange; they are verbal gestures of the speaker addressed to no one in particular. Some of them are in fact not language but protolanguage, such as Wow!, Yuck!, Aha!, and Ouch!. Others are made of language, with recognisable words and sometimes even traces of structure … They can be analysed as nominal groups or as clauses in terms of transitivity, if desired.

Minor Speech Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 153):
The other circumstance in which a clause does not display a Mood + Residue structure is if it is realising a minor speech function. Minor speech functions are exclamations, calls, greetings and alarms.

Unmarked Subject & Speech Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 152):
For any clause, there is one choice of Subject that is ‘unmarked’ — that is assumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary. In a giving clause (offer or statement), the unmarked Subject is ‘I’; while in a demanding clause (question or command), the unmarked Subject is ‘you’. This means that, if a clause that on other grounds can be interpreted as offer or statement is without a Subject, the listener will understand the Subject [as] ‘I’ — that is, Subject equals speaker … Whereas if it is a question or command the listener will understand the Subject [as] ‘you’ — that is, Subject equals listener …

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 152):
In most accounts of English grammar the imperative is presented as if it were a special case, without any explanation. But it is not; it is simply an instance of this general principle by which a Subject is ‘understood’. Being a demanding clause, its unmarked Subject is ‘you’.

Ellipsis & The WH– Variable

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 151):
Exchanges involving not the yes/no variable but the WH– variable, where just one element is under discussion, lead to a different form of ellipsis in which everything is omitted except that element. Its function in the clause is presupposed from the preceding discourse.

Ellipsis & Validity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 151):
An exchange centring on the validity of an assertion — the identity of the Subject, the choice and degree of polarity — may be realised by clauses consisting of the Mood only, the Residue being established at the start and then presupposed by ellipsis, or by substitution with do.