Monday, 30 April 2012

Medium/Process: Meteorological Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 289):
For the sake of simplicity, we represent meteorological processes such as it’s raining as having no Medium; but it would be more accurate to say that here the Medium is conflated with the process.

The Medium [Distinguishing Characteristics]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 289):
Except in the special case of the medio–receptive voice, the Medium is obligatory in all processes; and it is the only element that is, other than the process itself. … The Medium is also the only element that is never introduced into the clause by means of a preposition (again with the same exception of medio–receptives); it is treated as something that always participates directly in the process.

The Medium [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 288-9):
Every process has associated with it one participant that is the key figure in that process; this is the one through which the process is actualised, and without which there would be no process at all.  Let us call this element the Medium, since it is the entity through the medium of which the process comes into existence. … in a material process the Medium is equivalent to the Actor in an intransitive clause and Goal in a transitive clause.


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 284):
… the medium through which the process is actualised.

The Clause Nucleus

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 289):
The Process and the Medium together form the nucleus of an English clause; and this nucleus then determines the range of options that are available to the rest of the clause. Thus the nucleus … represents a small semantic field which may be realised as a clause either alone or in combination with other participant or circumstantial functions.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Phylogenesis: The Ergative Model

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 288):
The coming of this pattern to predominance in the system of modern English is one of a number of related developments that have been taking place in the language over the past 500 years or more, together amounting to a far–reaching and complex process of semantic change. These changes have tended, as a whole, to emphasise the textual function, in the organisation of English discourse, by comparison with the experiential function; and within the experiential function, to emphasise the cause–&–effect aspect of processes by comparison with the ‘deed–&–extension’ one. … [The English transitivity system] is particularly unstable in the contemporary language, having been put under great pressure by the need for the language continually to adapt itself to a rapidly changing environment, and by the increasing functional demands that have been made on it ever since Chaucer’s time.

Pronominal Case Marking Is A Feature Of Mood, Not Transitivity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 286n):
The account of lexical ergativity has sometimes been supported by reference to pronominal case marking in English. But this is also a mistake; pronominal case marking is not a feature of the experiential system of transitivity but rather of the interpersonal system of mood: the non-oblique (‘nominative’) case is used for Subjects in finite clauses and the oblique (‘accusative’) case in all other environments (including Subjects in non-finite clauses). It is thus related to arguability status, not the transitive model of transitivity.

Lexical Ergativity Is More Delicate Grammatical Ergativity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 286n):
Some linguists have in fact thought that English is only lexically ergative. But this is not a tenable position once we realise that lexis and grammar are not separate modules or components, but merely zones within a continuum: ‘lexical ergativity’ in English is an extension in delicacy of ‘grammatical ergativity’ within the experiential clause grammar; and the explanation for the evolution of ergative patterning is grammatical in the first instance rather than lexical.

Ergativity & Delicacy

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 286):
But ergativity is not restricted to the lexical zone of lexicogrammar. Rather it is also a grammatical phenomenon, and the explanation can be stated in grammatical, rather than lexical, terms since it is the grammar that engenders the lexical patterns

The Ergative & Transitive Models

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 285):
The ergative model is now fully systemic in English; that is, it is not restricted to certain registers, but together with the transitive model, it makes up the general system of transitivity, and it has been gaining ground over the last half a millenium. The two models complement one another, which is why they are variably foregrounded across registers: they embody different generalisations about the flux of experience, resonating with different situation types.

Registers In Which The Ergative Model Is Foregrounded

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 285):
These registers include those that are collectively known as Scientific English — registers that evolved over the last 500 years or so; but they also include those that are collectively known as casual conversation — the frontier of change in English.

Ergativity [Theoretical Location]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 281n):
Note that ‘transitivity’ is the name for the whole system, including both the ‘transitive’ model and the ‘ergative’ one. ‘Ergativity’ is thus not the name of a system, but a property of the system of transitivity.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

The Ergative Model: Causation Of The Process [Defining Variable]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 286-8):
… while … there is clear evidence in the grammar for distinguishing one process type from another, there is also clear evidence for saying that, in a more abstract sense, every process is structured in the same way, on the basis of just one variable. This variable relates to the source of the process: what it is that brought it about. The question at issue is: is the process brought about from within, or from outside? … the variable is not one of extension but one of causation. Some participant is engaged in a process; is the process brought about by that participant, or by some other entity?

The Transitive Model: Extension Of The Process [Defining Variable]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 287):
… the variable is one of extension. … does the process extend beyond the Actor, to some other entity, or not?

The Transitive Model

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 282):
the transitive model is based on the configuration of Actor + Process. The Actor is construed as bringing about the unfolding of the Process through time; and this unfolding is either confined in its outcome to the Actor or extended to another participant, the Goal. The Goal is construed as being impacted by the Actor’s performance of the Process.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Three Planes Of Reality: Experiential, Interpersonal & Textual Time

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 280):
Experiential time is time as a feature of a process: its location, its duration or its repetition rate in some real or imaginary history. Interpersonal time is time enacted between speaker and listener: temporality relative to the speaker–now, or usuality as a band of arguable space between positive and negative poles. Textual time is time relative to the current state of the discourse: ‘then’ in the text’s construction of external reality, or in the internal ordering of the text itself.

Circumstances Vs Modal & Conjunctive Adjuncts [Diagnostic: Textual Potential]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 279):
Modal and Conjunctive Adjuncts are outside the transitivity system, hence while typically thematic, they are not topical Theme and therefore cannot be given special thematic prominence; nor will they carry the only focus of information in the clause. … But many items can occur both as circumstance and in one of the other functions.

Circumstance Vs Qualifier [Diagnostic: Thematicity]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 221):
To differentiate them in analysis, we can apply textual probes: in principle, being an element of the clause, a circumstance is subject to all the different textual statuses brought about by theme, theme predication and theme identification. … In contrast, a Qualifier cannot on its own be given textual status in the clause since it is a constituent of a nominal group, not of the clause; so it can only be thematic together with the rest of the nominal group it is part of.

Prepositions Attached To Verbs [Diagnostic: Thematic Agnates]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 278):
There is no simple diagnostic criterion for deciding every instance; but a useful pointer is provided by the thematic structure, which gives an indication of how the clause is organised as a representation of the process …

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Viewpoint: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 276-7):
This type is expressed by [prepositional phrases introduced by] the simple preposition to or by complex prepositions such as in the view/opinion of, from the standpoint of … This type of Angle occurs in ‘relational’ clauses that are agnate with ‘mental’ ones …

Source: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 276):
It is expressed by [prepositional phrases introduced by] complex prepositions such as according to, in the words of.  (Note that according to can also mark a circumstance of Manner …).

Angle: Source (Sayer) Vs Viewpoint (Senser)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 276):
Angle is related either to
(i) the Sayer of a ‘verbal’ clause, with the sense of ‘as … says’ or
(ii) to the Senser of a ‘mental’ clause, with the sense of ‘as … thinks’.
We can call type (i) ‘source’ since it is used to represent the source information …
We can call type (ii) ‘viewpoint’ since it is used to represent the information given by the clause from somebody’s viewpoint …

Matter: Theme & New

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 276):
One way of giving prominence to a Theme is to construe it as if it was a circumstance of Matter; for example, as for the ghost, it hasn’t been seen since.  By being first introduced circumstantially, the ghost becomes a focused Theme.

Matter: Mathematical Expressions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 276):
In mathematical expressions, there is a special form of Matter, typically with ‘relational’ clauses: for all x such that x > 5 … .

Matter: Definition, Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 276):
Matter is related to verbal processes; it is the circumstantial equivalent of the Verbiage, ‘that which is described, referred to, narrated, etc’.  The interrogative is what about?.  Matter is expressed by [prepositional phrases introduced by] prepositions such as about, concerning, with reference to and sometimes simply of … It is frequent with both ‘verbal’ clauses and ‘mental’ ones (especially of the ‘cognitive’ subtype).

Circumstances Of Projection: Agnation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 276):
Although circumstances of expansion relate to ‘relational’ clauses, circumstances of projection relate to projecting ‘mental’ and ‘verbal’ clauses — either to the Senser or Sayer of that clause (Angle) or to the [Phenomenon or] Verbiage (Matter).

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Rôle Type & ‘Material’ Attribute Type [Agnation]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 275):
… an Attribute … added to a ‘material’ process,
either (i) as depictive, corresponding to the guise,
or (ii) as resultative, corresponding to the product

Phrasal Verb Vs Prepositional Phrase [Diagnostics]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 275):
… in some instances, such as act as, turn into, the preposition as, into [is] so closely bonded with the verb that it should be analysed as part of the Process. … The boundary is indeterminate; but [the phrasal verb] analysis is suggested where the verb could not easily occur without the prepositional phrase, or is separated from the preposition thematically.

Product: Definition & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 275):
Product corresponds to the interrogative what into? with the meaning of ‘become’, similarly as attribute or identity …

Guise & Temporality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 274):
Thematic circumstances of Rôle may indicate a period of time in a person’s life … distantly agnate with a temporal clause …

Guise: Definition, Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 274):
Guise corresponds to the interrogative what as? and construes the meaning of ‘be’ (attribute or identity) in the form of a circumstance … The usual preposition is as; other, complex prepositions with this function are by way of, in the rôle/shape/guise/form

Rôle: Definition & Subtypes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 274):
This category construes the meanings of ‘be’ and ‘become’ circumstantially; the Rôle corresponds to the Attribute or Value of an ‘intensive relational’ clause. Rôle includes the subcategories of Guise (‘be’) and Product (‘become’). … A circumstance of Rôle usually relates to a participant in the clause — more specifically, to the Medium; but we also find circumstances of Rôle that do not.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Accompaniment: Additive

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 273):
The additive represents the process as a two instances; here both entities clearly share the same participant function, but one of them is represented circumstantially for the purpose of contrast. … when one participant is represented circumstantially it can be given the status of [marked] Theme …

Accompaniment: Comitative

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 273):
The comitative represents the process as a single instance of a process, although one in which two entities are involved. It ranges from some cases where the two entities could be conjoined as a single element … to others where they could not … Sometimes the comitative element is actually an accompanying process … [grammatical metaphor]

Accompaniment: Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 272-3):
Accompaniment … corresponds to the interrogatives and who/what else?, but not who/what?.  It is expressed by prepositional phrases with prepositions such as with, without, besides, instead of.

Accompaniment: Definition & Subtypes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 272-3):
Accompaniment is a form of joint participation in the process and represents the meanings ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘not’ as circumstantials … We can distinguish two subcategories, comitative and additive; each has a positive and negative aspect. … A circumstance of Accompaniment may have an additional sense of cause or contingency — ‘since/if x has/hasn’t’.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Default: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 272):
Default circumstantials have the sense of negative condition — ‘if not, unless’; they are expressed by prepositional phrases with the complex prepositions in the absence of, in default of

Concession: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 272):
Concession circumstantials construe frustrated cause, with the sense of ‘although’; they are expressed by prepositional phrases with the prepositions despite, notwithstanding, or the complex prepositions in spite of or regardless of

Condition: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 272):
… the Head/Thing of a nominal group introduced by the preposition tends to be
a noun denoting an entity whose existence is conditional …
a noun denoting an event that might eventuate … or
a nominalisation denoting a reified process or quality …
Eventive nouns include those naming meteorological processes …

Condition: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 271):
Circumstantials of Condition construe circumstances that have to obtain in order for the process to be actualised; they have the sense of ‘if’.  They are expressed by prepositional phrases with complex prepositions in case of, in the event of, on condition of

Contingency: Condition, Concession & Default

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 271):
Circumstances of Contingency specify an element on which the actualisation of the process depends. Again, there are three sub-types: Condition, Concession, Default.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Behalf (For The Sake Of) Vs Client (For The Use Of) [Diagnostic]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 271):
This category [Behalf] includes in principle the concept of the Client, the person for whom something is performed. But the Client is treated in the grammar as a kind of participant: it occurs without preposition, except when in a position of prominence, and can become Subject in the passive.

Behalf: Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 270):
Expressions of Behalf represent the entity, typically a person, on whose behalf or for whose sake the action is undertaken — who it is for.  They are expressed by a prepositional phrase with for or a complex preposition such as for the sake of, in favour of (negative: against), on behalf of … The usual interrogative is who for?.

Purpose: Congruent & Metaphorical Realisations

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 270):
… the Head/Thing of the nominal group introduced by the purposive preposition tends to be either a noun denoting [an] entity that is to be obtained through the actualisation of the process or a nominalisation representing a reified process. The latter is in fact a metaphorical variant of what would congruently be realised as a clause.

Purpose: Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 270):
Circumstantials of Purpose … are typically expressed by a prepositional phrase with for or a complex preposition such as in the hope of, for the purpose of, for the sake of … The interrogative corresponding is what for?.

Reason: Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 269-70):
A circumstantial expression of Reason … is typically expressed by a prepositional phrase with through, from, for or a complex preposition such as because of, as a result of, thanks to, due to; also the negative for want of … There is also one class of expressions with of, one of the few places where of functions as a full preposition (ie representing a minor process) as distinct from being merely a structure marker … The corresponding WH– forms are why? or how?.

Cause: Reason, Purpose & Behalf

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 269):
The circumstantial element of Cause construes the reason why the process is actualised. It includes not only Reason in the narrow sense of existing conditions leading to the actualisation of the process, but also Purpose in the sense of intended conditions for which the process is actualised (what has been called ‘final cause’). Both Reason and Purpose tend to be eventive (and are therefore commonly construed as clauses in a clause nexus); but there is another type of Cause that tends to denote a person — the circumstance of Behalf.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Circumstance of Degree Vs Mood Adjunct Of Intensity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 269):
Circumstances of Degree shade into mood Adjuncts of intensity. The difference between them can be seen in an example such as it almost destroyed the house:
(Degree) ‘it destroyed the house to a large extent’,
(Mood Ajunct) ‘it didn’t destroy the house’.

Degree: Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 268-9):
Degree is typically expressed by an adverbial group with a general indication of degree … or with a collocationally more restricted adverb of degree … The collocationally restricted adverbs collocate with verbs serving as Process … Less commonly Degree may be expressed by a prepositional phrase, usually with to plus a nominal group with extent, degree as Thing and an intensifying adjective … as Epithet.  Degree expressions characterise the extent of the actualisation of the process and they often occur immediately before or immediately after the Process … [The interrogative is how much?.]

Comparison: Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 268):
Comparison is typically expressed by a prepositional phrase with like or unlike, or an adverbial group of similarity or difference … The interrogative is what … like?.

Quality: Interpersonal & Textual Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 268):
… circumstances of Quality may also embody positive or negative interpersonal evaluations … and they may include comparative reference … thus contributing to cohesion in the text.

Quality: Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 268):
Quality is typically expressed by an adverbial group with an -ly adverb as Head; the interrogative forms is how? or how … ? with an appropriate adverb.  Less commonly, Quality is realised by a prepositional phrase.  The general type is one where the preposition is in or with and the Head/Thing of the nominal group is the name of ‘manner’, either manner or way, or of a qualitative dimension such as speed, tone, skill, ease, difficulty, term; but phrasal expressions of Quality also include more specific types, such as specifications of the manner of movement.

Agent Vs Instrument [Diagnostic: Voice]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 267-8):
The line between agent and instrument is not always very sharp. … Nevertheless, there is a significant distinction in the grammar between manner and agency, so that a passive by phrase, if it could not remain unchanged in the corresponding active clause, is interpreted as a participant, not as a circumstance of Manner. This reflects the fact that semantically, whereas the instrument is not usually an inherent element in the process, the agent typically is — although less clearly so when the process is expressed in the passive.

Means: The Concepts Of Agency & Instrumentality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 267):
… the category includes, in principle, the concepts of both agency and instrumentality. The instrument is not a distinct category in English grammar; it is simply a kind of means [as shown by voice agnates]. … The agent, however, although it is expressed as a prepositional phrase, typically functions as a participant in the clause [as shown by voice agnates].

Means: Realisation & WH– Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 267):
Means … is typically expressed by a prepositional phrase with the preposition by or with.  The interrogative forms are how? and what with?.

Manner: Means & Comparison Vs Quality & Degree

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 267):
Means is close to the participant rôle of Agent and Comparison is like a participant in a clause with the same type of process, whereas Quality and Degree are like features of the process itself. These differences in status are reflected in realisational tendencies: Means and Comparison tend to be realised by prepositional phrases, whereas Quality and [Degree] tend to be realised by adverbial groups.


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 267):
The circumstantial element of Manner construes the way in which the process is actualised. Manner comprises four subcategories: Means, Quality, Comparison, Degree …

Friday, 20 April 2012

Abstract Location Vs Other Circumstances [Diagnostic: WH– Probe]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 266-7):
Abstract space is the source of various expressions that serve as realisations of other types of circumstance such as Manner … Rôle … It can be difficult to determine whether such an expression serves as an abstract Location or as a circumstance of another type. But probes involving Wh– items usually help us draw the line. For example, using the spatial where

Abstract Space

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 266):
… the construal of abstract space often involves a ‘material’ process of motion through space … The abstractness is a feature of the clause as a whole, not just a single element; but the ‘clue’ to the abstract interpretation may be a single element or a combination of elements. The Location itself may be an abstract onethe participant placed in relation to the Location may be an abstraction … or the participant causing this participant to be placed in relation to the Location may be an abstraction

Location: Structural Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 265):
The typical structure is an adverbial group or prepositional phrase … Note adverbial group/prepositional phrase complexes expressing spatial and temporal paths … Under certain conditions a temporal preposition may be left out

Location: Source, Path & Destination

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 265):
Place includes not only static location in space, but also the source, path and destination of movement. Similarly, time includes not only static location in time, but also the temporal analogues of source, path and destination.

Location: Spatial Or Temporal [Diagnostic: Interrogative Probe]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 265):
Location construes … the place where it [the process] unfolds or the time when it unfolds.  The general interrogatives of Location are where?, when?.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Extent Vs Scope [Diagnostics: Measure & Subject]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 264):
There is no very sharp line separating (circumstantial) expressions of Extent from (participant) expressions of Scope of the enhancing type; but there is a distinction between them: Extent is expressed in terms of some unit of measurement … whereas Scope in terms other than measure units … and being a participant, the Scope has the potential of being able to serve as Subject.

Extent: Frequency Vs Usuality [Diagnostic]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 264):
In the temporals there is an additional category of ‘frequency’, how many times?. This is related to the interpersonal category of usuality, but it is not identical to it; usuality is a modal assessment referring to position on a scale between positive and negative (always/never), whereas frequency is the extent of the repetition of the process. The categories of extent and usuality may, however, work together, as in a narrative where habitude is established.

Extent: Interval

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 264):
The category of Extent includes ‘interval’, which has the corresponding question form how often?, in the sense of ‘at what intervals?’.

Extent: Structural Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 264):
The typical structure is a nominal group with quantifier, either definite … or indefinite … this occurs either with or without a preposition, the most usual preposition being for

Extent: Spatial Or Temporal [Diagnostic: Interrogative Probe]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 264):
Extent construes … the distance in space over which the process unfolds or the duration in time during which the process unfolds.  The interrogative forms for Extent are how far?, how long?, how many [measure units]?, how many times?.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Parallels Between Temporal & Spatial Expressions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 265):
(i) … both incorporate the notions of extent and location
(ii) In both time and space, extent is measurable in standard units
(iii) In both time and space, both extent and location may be either definite or indefinite
(iv) In both temporal and spatial location, the location may be either absolute, or relative to the ‘here–and–now’; and if relative, may be either near or remote
(v) In both spatial and temporal location there is a distinction between rest and motion; and within motion, between motion towards and motion away from

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Circumstance As Minor Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 277):
… the nominal group stands to the preposition in some kind of transitivity relation, as well as in a relationship like that of Complement to Predicator in mood structure …

Circumstance As Minor Relational Or Verbal Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 263):
… what is important is the notion of ‘circumstance’ as a kind of additional minor process, subsidiary to the main one, but embodying some of the features of a relational or verbal process, and so introducing a further entity as an indirect participant in the clause.

Relating Circumstance Types To Process (& Logical) Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 261-3):
relational circumstantial [enhancing] … Extent … Location … Manner … Cause … Contingency …
relational possessive [extending] … Accompaniment …
relational intensive [elaborating] … Rôle …
verbal [projecting] … Matter … Angle …

Relating Circumstance Types To Process Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 261):
We are able to do this because a circumstantial element is itself, from this point of view, a process that has become parasitic on another process. Instead of standing on its own, it serves as an expansion of something else. Most circumstantials can be derived from the three types of relational process [ie intensive, possessive, circumstantial]; the largest group, not surprisingly, from that type of relational process for which we use the label ‘circumstantial’.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Prepositional Phrases As Participants [Diagnostic]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 278):
Wherever there is systematic alternation between a prepositional phrase and a nominal group, as in all the instances in Participant functions realised by prepositional phrases, the element in question is interpreted as a participant.

Indirect Participants Vs Circumstances

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 261):
We can make a contrast, then, between direct and indirect participants, using ‘indirect participant’ to refer to the status of a nominal group that is inside a prepositional phrase … the participant rôles of (1) Client, Recipient and Receiver [ie Beneficiary] and (2) Scope, Behaviour and Verbiage [ie Range] are sometimes expressed ‘indirectly’ in this sense … The elements we are treating as ‘circumstantial’ are those in which the participant typically — and in many cases obligatorily — is indirect, being linked into the process via some preposition or other.

Prepositional Phrase: A Hybrid Construction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 261):
But a prepositional phrase is an odd sort of hybrid construction. It has a nominal group inside it, as a constituent, so it looks bigger than a group; and yet it is still not quite a clause. In English, this nominal group inside a prepositional phrase is no different from a nominal group functioning directly as a participant in a clause … But it is allowed in, as it were, only indirectly — through the intermediary of a preposition

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Circumstances Viewed ‘From Below’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 261):
… they [circumstances] are typically expressed not as nominal groups but as either adverbial groups or prepositional phrases — mostly the latter, since adverbial groups are largely confined to one type, those of Manner.

Circumstances Viewed ‘From Round About’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 260-1):
… whereas participants function in the mood grammar as Subject or Complement, circumstances map onto Adjuncts; in other words, they have not got the potential of becoming Subjects, of taking over the modal responsibility for the clause as exchange.

Circumstances Viewed ‘From Above’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 260):
As far as meaning is concerned, we used the expression ‘circumstances associated with’ or ‘attendant on the process’, referring to examples such as the location of an event in time or space, its manner, or its cause; and these notions of ‘when, where, how and why’ the thing happens provided the traditional explanation, by linking circumstances to the four WH– forms that were adverbs rather than nouns.

Circumstances & Clause Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 259-60):
… typically, they [circumstances] occur freely in all types of process, with essentially the same significance wherever they occur. There are, of course, some combinations which are less likely, and some special interpretations. For example, circumstances of Matter are fairly common with ‘mental’ and ‘verbal’ clauses but quite rare with other process types, except for certain ‘behavioural’ clauses. And in an ‘attributive’ clause, Manner circumstances are fairly unusual, and circumstances of Place often carry a feature of time as well …

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Meteorological Processes: Material Clauses Without Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 259):
This last type [construed as it + a verb in the ‘present in present’ tense] is unique in English, in that it has no participant in it.  The it serves the interpersonal function of Subject, like the there in an ‘existential’ clause, but has no function in transitivity — if you are told that it’s raining, you cannot ask What is? and the it cannot be theme–predicated … or serve as an identified Theme or Rheme … On the other hand the tense is clearly that of a ‘material’ process.  These clauses can be analysed as consisting of a single element, the Process; they are the limiting case of a ‘material’ process clause.

Meteorological Processes: Existential, Material & Relational

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 258-9):
On this borderline between the ‘existential’ and the ‘material’ there is a special category of processes to do with the weather: meteorological processes … Some are construed existentially … Some are construed as material events … Some are construed as relational attributives … some are construed as it + a verb in the ‘present in present’ tense …


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 258):
The entity or event which is said to exist is labelled, simply, Existent.  In principle, there can ‘exist’ any kind of phenomenon that can be construed as a ‘thing’: person, object, institution, abstraction; but also any action or eventAnd here the ‘existential’ merges into the ‘material’ type of clause: there is little difference in meaning between ‘existential’ there was a robbery and ‘material: creative’  a robbery took place

Existential Clause Complexes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 258):
Another common way of ‘locating’ the process in space–time is to follow it with a non-finite clause, for example … there’s a patient to see you; the two together form a clause complex.

Existential Clauses Without Subjects

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 258):
Frequently an ‘existential’ clause contains a distinct circumstantial element of time or place … If the circumstantial element is thematic, the Subject there may be omitted — but it will turn up if there is a tag: on the wall (there) was a Picasso painting, wasn’t there?

Existential Clauses: Verbs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 258):
‘Existential’ clauses typically have the verb be; in this respect also they resemble ‘relational’ clauses. But the other verbs that commonly occur are mainly different from either the ‘attributive’ or the ‘identifying’ …

Existential ‘There’: Experiential & Interpersonal Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 257):
The word there in such clauses is neither a participant nor a circumstance — it has no representational function in the transitivity structure of the clause; but it serves to indicate the feature of existence, and it is needed interpersonally as a Subject. Unlike participants and circumstances this existential there cannot be queried, theme–predicated or theme–identified

Existential ‘There’: Textual Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 257):
Textually the [unmarked] Theme is just the feature of existence (there), allowing the addressee to prepare for something that is about to be introduced; and this something is presented as New information.

Projected Clauses: Speech Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 253-4):
The projected clause may be either 
(a) a proposition, realised by a finite clause … or 
(b) a proposal, realised by a perfective non-finite clause … [or] by a modulated finite clause …

Projected Clauses Vs Facts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 253):
The status of the reported and quoted clause is analogous to that of an ‘idea’ clause introduced by a ‘mental’ clause: it is … not rankshifted, and in this respect such clauses differ from rankshifted ‘fact’ clauses serving as the Phenomenon of a ‘mental’ clause.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Target: The Participant That Is Acted Upon Verbally

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 256):
The Target occurs only in a sub-type of ‘verbal’ clause; this function construes the entity that is targeted by the process of saying … Verbs that accept a Target do not easily project reported speech; this type of clause is closer to the Actor + Goal structure of a ‘material’ clause … The source of praise, blame etc is construed either as a circumstance or as an enhancing hypotactic clause … but not as a projection …

Verbiage As The Name Of The Saying

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 256):
This type also occurs with ‘empty’ verbs like give and make, eg give an order, make a statement.  The name of the saying includes speech functional categories such as question, statement, order, command — often with collocational constraints in relation to the lexical verb in the Process … and generic categories such as story, fable, joke, report, summary.  The name of a language can be construed as Verbiage … alternatively, this is construed circumstantially as Manner …

Verbiage As The Content Of What Is Said: Beneficiary

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 256n):
Order, promise and other such processes can be construed with a Beneficiary.  With promise this Beneficiary is the Receiver of a ‘verbal’ clause, but with order this Beneficiary is more like the Client of a ‘material’ clause denoting the creation of goods or the performance of a service …

Verbiage As The Content Of What Is Said

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 256):
… this type of Verbiage is close in meaning to a circumstance of Matter … If the verbal process is one that projects goods–&–services rather than information, like order or promise, the Verbiage refers to these; for example, a steak in I ordered a steak

Verbiage: Two Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 255, 256):
The Verbiage is the function that corresponds to what is said, representing it as a class of thing rather than a report or quote … (a) It may be the content of what is said … (b) It may be the name of the saying … The two types of Verbiage are not sharply distinct …

Receiver: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 255):
The Receiver is the one to whom the saying is directed … The Receiver may be Subject in a clause that is ‘receptive’ … The Receiver is realised by a nominal group typically denoting a conscious being (a potential speaker), a collective or an institution; the nominal group either occurs on its own or is marked by a preposition — almost always to but sometimes of.  The range of realisational possibilities depends on the lexical verb of the verbal group realising the Process …

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Verbal Clauses: Distinctive Patterns

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 255):
[Unlike ‘behavioural’ process clauses] ‘verbal’ process clauses do display distinctive patterns of their own. Besides being able to project … they accommodate three further participant functions in addition to the Sayer: (1) Receiver, (2) Verbiage, (3) Target. The first two of these are ‘oblique’ participants.

Verbal Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 255):
In certain respects, ‘verbal’ clauses are thus like ‘behavioural’ ones, exhibiting certain characteristics of other process types — tense like ‘material’ or ‘relational’, ability to project like ‘mental’.

For Non-Conscious Sayers: Tense Like Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 254-5):
However, the simple present also occurs in a more ‘relational’ sense of ‘expresses the opinion that’ … And when the Sayer is realised by a nominal group denoting a symbol source other than a human speaker, the tense selection is more likely to be more like that of a ‘relational’ clause … While such clauses are still clearly ‘verbal’, they are closer to ‘relational’ clauses than are ‘verbal’ ones with a human speaker as Subject.

For Conscious Sayers: Tense Like Material Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 254, 254n):
The tense is also in a sense intermediate between that of ‘material’ clauses and that of ‘relational’ ones. When the Sayer is realised by a nominal group denoting a conscious speaker, the tense selection may be like that of a ‘material’ clause, with the simple present indicating habit or generalisation (ie an extended ‘now’) and the present in present indicating the narrower period of time; and the present in past often indicates simultaneity, just as it does with ‘material’ clauses. … The present can alternate with the past in conversational narratives just as it can with ‘material’ clauses …

Verbal Processes: Saying

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 253, 254):
‘Saying’ has to be interpreted in a rather broad sense; it covers any kind of symbolic exchange of meaning
… unlike ‘mental’ clauses, ‘verbal’ ones do not require a conscious participant. The Sayer can be anything that puts out a signal … In view of the nature of the ‘Sayer’, verbal processes might more appropriately be called ‘symbolic’ processes …

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Behavioural Processes: Introducing Direct Speech

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 252):
… while ‘behavioural’ clauses do not ‘project’ indirect speech or thought, they often appear in fictional narrative introducing direct speech, as a means of attaching a behavioural feature to the verbal process of ‘saying’.

Behavioural Processes: The Anomalous Verb ‘Watch’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 251-2):
The verb watch is anomalous: in I’m watching you, the tense suggests a behavioural process but the you appears as a participant, like the Phenomenon of a ‘mental’ clause.  Since this is restricted to watch, we can label this participant as Phenomenon, indicating the ‘mental’ analogue.

Behavioural Processes: Orientation As Place

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 251):
Some [behavioural processes] also regularly feature a prepositional phrase with to, at or on … These are in origin circumstances of Place; in the behavioural context they express orientation, but we may continue to use that label.

Behavioural Processes: Associated Circumstances

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 251):
Certain types of circumstance are associated with behavioural processes: those of Matter with [near mental and near verbal types] … Manner with the remainder …

Behavioural Processes: Agency & Range

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 251):
Behavioural processes are almost always middle; the most typical pattern is a clause consisting of Behaver and process only … A common variant of these is that where the behaviour is dressed up as if it was a participant … The participant is analogous to the Scope of a ‘material’ clause (both being manifestations of the general function of Range); we shall call it Behaviour.

Behavioural Processes: Unmarked Present Tenses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 250):
The usual unmarked present tense for behavioural processes is present in present, like the material … however, we also find the simple present in its unmarked sense (ie not meaning habitual) … which suggests an affiliation with a mental.

Behavioural Processes: “Senser Doing”

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 250):
The participant who is ‘behaving’, labelled Behaver, is typically a conscious being, like the Senser; the Process is grammatically more like one of ‘doing’.

Behavioural Clauses: Not So Much A Distinct Process Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 255):
… ‘behavioural’ process clauses are not so much a distinct type of process, but rather a cluster of small subtypes blending the material and the mental into a continuum …

Behavioural Processes: Why The Least Distinct Process Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 248-50):
These are processes of (typically human) physiological and psychological behaviour, like breathing, coughing, smiling, dreaming and staring. They are the least distinct of all the six process types because they have no clearly defined characteristics of their own; rather they are partly like the material and partly like the mental.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Possessive Identifying Clauses: Possession As Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 246):
Some verbs combine the feature of possession with other semantic features; for example
exclude ‘[negative] + have’,
owe ‘have on behalf of another possessor’,
deserve ‘ought to have’,
lack ‘need to have’. 
(Most verbs meaning ‘come to have’, on the other hand, function as Process in ‘material’ clauses; for example get, receive, acquire.)

Possessive Identifying Clauses: Possession As Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 246):
In addition to possession in the usual sense of ‘owning’, this category includes abstract relationships of containment, involvement and the like.  Among the verbs commonly occurring in this function are include, involve, contain, comprise, consist of, provide.

Possessive Identifying Clauses: Possession As Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 246):
Here the possession is encoded as a process, typically realised by the verb ownhave is not used as an identifying verb of possession.

Possessive Identifying Clauses: Possession As (Both) Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 246):
Here the participants embody the notion of possession, one signifying property of the possessor … the other signifying the thing possessed … Thus in the piano is Peter’s, both the piano and Peter’s express ‘that which Peter possesses’, the relationship between them being simply one of identity.

Possessive Identifying Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 246, 247):
In the ‘identifying’ mode, the possession takes the form of a relationship between two entities; and again this may be organised in two ways, with the relationship being expressed either
(a) as a feature of the participants … or
(b) as a feature of the process
As expected, types (a) and (b) are both reversible …

Monday, 9 April 2012

Possessive Attributive Clauses: Possession As Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 245):
If the relationship of possession is construed as the Process, then two further possibilities arise. Either the possessor is the carrier and the possessed is the AttributeOr the possessed is the Carrier and the possessor is the Attribute … Neither of the two, of course, is reversible …

Possessive Attributive Clauses: Possession As Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 245):
These are not, in fact, syntagmatically distinct from ‘identifying’ clauses; the clause the piano is Peter’s could be either ‘attributive’, ‘the piano is a member of the class of Peter’s possessions’ or ‘identifying’, ‘the piano is identified as belonging to Peter’. (Note that the reversed [form] Peter’s is the piano can only be ‘identifying’.)

Possessive Attributive Clauses: Possession As Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 245):
If the relationship is construed as the Attribute, then it takes the form of a possessive nominal group … the thing possessed is the Carrier and the possessor is the Attribute.

Possessive Attributive Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 245):
In the ‘attributive’ mode, the possessive relationship may again be construed either as attribute … or as process …

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Possession As A Circumstantial Relation [Language Typology]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 247):
In principle, possession can be thought of as another kind of circumstantial relation … many languages typically indicate possession by circumstantials … The nearest in English is the verb belong

Possessive Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 244-5):
In the ‘possessive’ type, the relationship between the two terms is one of ownership; on entity possesses another … In addition to possession in the narrow sense of ‘owning’, the category of ‘possessive’ clauses also includes possession in a broader, more generalised sense — possession of body parts and other part–whole relations, containment, involvement and the like … Possession thus has to be interpreted quite broadly, in the sense of ‘extension’: one entity is construed as being extended by another.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Circumstantial Identifying Clauses: Circumstance As Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 243):
In this type, it is not the participants that are the expression of time, place or other circumstantial features, but the Process. … Circumstantial verbs encode the circumstance of time, place, accompaniment, manner, etc as a relationship between the participants … This means that in terms of the concept of grammatical metaphor … all clauses of this type are metaphorical.

Circumstantial Identifying Clauses: Circumstance As (Both) Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 242):
In this type, it is the participants — Identified and Identifier — that are circumstantial elements of time, place and so on. … The Token can be quite varied in grammatical class — a nominal group, an adverbial group, a prepositional phrase or an embedded clause, whereas the Value is often a nominal group with the name of a class of circumstance as Thing.

Circumstantial Identifying Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 242):
In the ‘identifying’ mode, the circumstance takes the form of a relationship between two entities; one entity being related to another by a feature of time or place or manner etc. As with the circumstantial attributive, this pattern may be organised semantically in one of two ways. The relationship is expressed either
(a) a feature of the participants … or
(b) as a feature of the process …

Friday, 6 April 2012

Circumstantial Attributive Process Vs Material Process [Diagnostic: Unmarked Tense & Participant Mobility]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 242):
Verbs serving in clauses with a circumstantial process are often derived from a basic use in ‘material’ clauses of motion … The unmarked present tense is the simple present … rather than the present in present of ‘material’ clauses … The Carrier is typically some immobile physical feature, whereas the Actor of a ‘material’ clause of motion is typically an animate being or a mobile entity. Because of the overlap of a large set of verbs, there will of course be cases that are indeterminate …

Circumstance As Attributive Process: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 241):
Here the Attribute is realised by a nominal group and the circumstantial relation is expressed by the lexical verb in the verbal group serving as Process … The verb expresses a circumstantial relation such as ‘be + matter’, ‘be + extent in time’, ‘be + extent in space’. Being attributive, these are non-reversible; there are no ‘receptive’ equivalents …

Circumstantial Attributive Vs Existential [Diagnostic: Mood Tag]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 241):
However, note that clauses such as on the north wall  hangs a Union Jack … are not ‘attributive’ but ‘existential’.  The thematically unmarked form of these clauses is that beginning with existential there: there is (hangs) a Union Jack on the north wall.  The prepositional phrase then appears initially as a marked Theme; in that case the existential feature may be left implicit, although the there may still be present and will appear in any case in the mood tag: on the north wall (there) is a Union Jack, isn’t there?.  In contrast, in a ‘circumstantial attributive’ clause, the Subject/Carrier is picked up in the mood tag: the sounds and smells of the ocean hang in the air — don’t they?

Circumstantial Vs Intensive Attributes: Thematicity & Definiteness

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 241):
Unlike the Attribute of an ‘intensive’ clause, the Attribute of a ‘circumstantial’ one is frequently Theme in registers where the thematic status is rhetorically motivated … And unlike intensive Attributes, such circumstantial Attributes frequently have a ‘definite’ nominal group …

Attributive Clauses: Circumstantial Or Intensive [Diagnostic: Constituent Structure]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 240n):
Ascriptive verbs of marked phase such as turn and look, were treated as ‘intensive’ even when they had a preposition after them: for example, caterpillars turn into butterflies, Penelope looked like an angel.  This reflects their constituent structure; cf what they turn into are butterflies (not what they turn is into butterflies), Penelope looked angelic.  But there is an overlap at this point, and these could also be interpreted as circumstantial.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Circumstance As Attribute: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 240-1):
Here the Attribute is realised (1) by a prepositional phrase, in which case the circumstantial relation is expressed by the preposition … and/or (2) by an adverbial group …

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Circumstantial Attributive Clauses: Process Or Minor Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 240):
In the ‘attributive’ mode, the circumstantial element is an attribute that is being ascribed to some entity … These take two forms:
(a) one in which the circumstance is construed in the form of the Attribute
(b) the other in which the circumstantial relation is construed in the form of the Process
In the first case, the circumstantial relation is construed as a minor process realised by a preposition; in the second, it is construed as a process realised by a verb

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Circumstantial Relational Clauses: Attributive Vs Identifying Mode

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 243-4):
The line between ‘attributive’ and ‘identifying’ modes is less clear in the ‘circumstantial’ than in the ‘intensive’ type of ‘relational’ clause. This is natural, since it is less obvious whether an expression such as on the mat designates a class (that has members — the class of things on the mat) or an identity (the thing that is identified by being on the mat). Nevertheless there is a distinction …

Circumstantial Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 240):
In the ‘circumstantial’ type, the relationship between the two terms is one of time, place, manner, cause, accompaniment, rôle, matter or angle.

Monday, 2 April 2012

The ‘As Participant’ Or ‘As Process’ Contrast In Intensive Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 240):
The contrast between ‘as participant’ and ‘as process’ … is a grammatical one and in a sense it applies also to ‘intensive’ clauses. Thus we have for example

the meaning of “kita:bun” is ‘book’/“kita:bun” means ‘book’,
the name of his mother is Anna/his mother is called Anna,
examples of amphibians are frogs, toads and salamanders/amphibians are exemplified by frogs, toads and salamanders.

But a special feature of the ‘intensive’ type is that the sense of ‘meaning’, ‘name’, ‘example’ and the like may be left implicit in the participant

Possession & Circumstantiation As Participant Or As Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 240):
With ‘possessive’ and ‘circumstantial’ clauses, there is thus a systemic contrast between ‘possession/circumstantiation as participant’ and ‘possession/circumstantiation as process’. … we often find lexical pairs manifesting the contrast such as be x’s/be owned, be like/resemble, be with/accompany, be in/inhabit, be around/surround, be opposite of/face, be about/concern

Possessive And Circumstantial Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 239):
The variants of ‘possessive’ and ‘circumstantial’ clauses with be (and have) are analogous to ‘intensive’ clauses.  Thus Emily has a piano can be interpreted as ‘Emily is a member of the class of piano–owners’ and the meeting is on Friday as ‘the meeting is a member of the class of the class of events on Friday’.  Similarly, the piano is Emily’s can be interpreted as ‘the piano is identified as the one belonging to Emily’ and Friday is the best time as ‘Friday is identified as the best time’.

Sunday, 1 April 2012


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 237):
Both ‘identifying’ and ‘attributive’ clauses of the ‘intensive’ kind have the option of assignment: they may be configured with a third participant representing the entity assigning the relationship of identity [or] attribution … In the case of ‘identifying’ clauses, this is the Assigner; in the case of ‘attributing’, this is the Attributor.  In a ‘receptive’ clause, this participant may be left implicit …

Relational Clauses: Principal Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 215):
The English system operates with three main types of relation — ‘intensive’, ‘possessive’ and ‘circumstantial’; and each of these comes in two distinct modes of being — ‘attributive’ and ‘identifying’.
[Note that the three types of relation correspond to the three types of expansion.]