Friday, 30 November 2012

Serial Tense Subcategorises Events Grammatically

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 346):
What has happened is that relative time — before, at or after a defined time reference — has come to be interpreted, in the semantics of English, as a kind of logical relation; a way of subcategorising events similar to the subcategorising of things, except that the latter is multidimensional (and hence lexicalised), whereas the former is based on a single semantic dimension and can therefore be expressed entirely by grammatical means.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Serial Tense Vs 'Aspect' Nomenclature

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 345):
What is remarkable about serial tense is its regularity: the way in which each choice of tense, whether past, present or future, defines a location in time which is then used as the point of departure for a further choice among the same three tenses. This regularity is obscured, and distorted, by the categories of the structuralist analysis, and especially the ‘aspect’ nomenclature of perfect and progressive (or continuous).

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Tense System Differences: Deixis

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 344):
The difference between this [System III] and System II is that in System III the effect is simply to eliminate the entire choice of primary tense. System I minus the α tense gives System III. The non-finite or modalised verbal group has no deictic tense element: non-finites because they have no deictic at all (that is what non-finite implies: not anchored in the here-and-now); modalised because, while they have a deictic element (being finite), their deixis takes the form of modality and not tense. Strictly speaking, the first secondary tense of the non-finite should be labelled α, since that becomes the Head element; but it seems simpler and clearer to retain the association of α with finiteness and show non-finites as beginning with β.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Non-Finite Tense Systems (System III)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 344):
System III is the tense system available in non-finite and in modalised forms of the verbal group. Here a further neutralisation takes place, that is, both that in system II (affecting the past) and a parallel one affecting the future. … What happens here is that (i) past, past in present and past in past are all represented by past; (ii) future, future in present and future in future are all represented by future. There are twelve such triads; the total number of tenses in System III is therefore 36 – (2 x 12) = 12.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Sequent Tense Systems (System II)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 343):
System II is that which is available after a past projection [ie projecting clause] such as they said. … What happens here is that in the environment of a ‘past’ feature, the past element in three of the System II tenses is neutralised; past, past in present and past in past [are] all represented as past in past. Since there are six such triads, System II has 2 x 6 =12 fewer tenses than System I.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Finite, Sequent & Non-Finite Tense Systems

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 342-3):
There are in fact three distinct systems of tense in English:
  • System I: finite 36 tenses
  • System II: sequent 24 tenses
  • System III: non-finite/modalised 12 tenses

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Logical Structure Of The Verbal Group: Restrictions On Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 339, 340):
Since the tense system is recursive, there should be no longest possible tense.  However, in practice there are certain restrictions which limit the total set of those that occur.  These restrictions, or ‘stop rules’, are as follows:

  • (i) Apart from alpha, future occurs only once.
  • (ii) Apart from alpha, present occurs only once, and always at the deepest level.
  • (iii) Apart from alpha, the same tense does not occur twice consecutively. …
These restrictions limit the total number of finite tenses to 36.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Logical Structure Of The Verbal Group: Voice

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 338-9):
The expression of voice is an extension of that of tense.  The active has no explicit marker; the passive is expressed by be or get plus V-en (past/passive participle), appearing as an additional modifying element at the end.  The passive thus functions like an additional secondary tense; and it displays a distinctive combination of presentness (be) and pastness (V-en) suggesting ‘to be in a present condition resulting from a past event’For this reason, there is no very clear line between passives and attributes having passive form.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Logical Structure Of The Verbal Group: Primary & Secondary Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 337, 338):
The logical structure of the verbal group realises the system of tense. … Thus tense in English is a recursive system.  The primary tense is that functioning as Head, shown as alpha.  This is the Deictic tense: past, present or future relative to the speech event.  The modifying elements, at beta and beyond, are secondary tenses; they express past, present or future relative to the time selected in the previous tense… In naming the tenses, it is best to work backwards, beginning with the deepest and using the prepostion in to express the serial modification.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Verbal Group: Limitations Of Experiential Labelling

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336-7):
However, the structural labelling of the words that make up the verbal group is of limited value, not only because the meaning can be fully represented in terms of grammatical features (of tense, voice, polarity and modality), but also because it is the logical structure that embodies the single most important semantic feature of the English verb, its recursive tense system, and the elements of the logical structure are not in the individual words but certain rather more complex elements.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Verbal Group: Metafunctional Components

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336):
The textual meaning is embodied in the ordering of the elements. The interpersonal meaning resides in the deictic features associated with finitenessprimary tense or modality — together with any attitudinal colouring that may be present in the lexical verb. And further systematic distinctions of both kinds may be realised by intonation and rhythm

Monday, 19 November 2012

Verbal Group / Nominal Group Parallelism: Textual Motivation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336):
Initial position is thematic; and the natural theme of a process or participant is its relation to the here-&-now.  Final position is informative; and the newsworthy component of a process or participant is some aspect of its lexical content.  So the structure of groups recapitulates, in the fixed ordering of their elements, the meaning that is incorporated as choice in the message structure of the clause.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Verbal Group / Nominal Group Parallelism: Underlying Commonality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336):
Both verbal and nominal group begin with the element that ‘fixes’ the group in relation to the speech exchange; and both end with the element that specifies the representational content — the difference being that, since things are more highly organised than events, there are additional lexical elements in the nominal but none in the verbal group.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Verbal Group / Nominal Group Parallelism

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336):
The verbal group begins with the Finite, which is the verbal equivalent of the Deictic, relating the process to the ‘speaker-now’; the Finite does so by tense or modality, whereas the Deictic does so by person or proximity, but each of these provides the orientation of the group. The verbal group ends with the Event, which is the verbal equivalent of the Thing; the former expresses a process, which may be an event, act of consciousness or relation, whereas the latter expresses an entity of some kind, but both represent the core of the lexical meaning.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Experiential Structure Of The Finite Verbal Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 335):
The experiential structure of the finite verbal group is Finite (standing for ‘Finite operator’) plus Event, with optional elements Auxiliary (one or more) and Polarity.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Verbal Group Viewed From Above And Below

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 335):
The verbal group is the constituent that functions as Finite plus Predicator (or as Predicator alone if there is no Finite element) in the mood structure (clause as exchange); and as Process in the transitivity structure (clause as representation). …
A verbal group is the expansion of a verb, in the same way that a nominal group is the expansion of a noun; and it consists of a sequence of words of the primary class of verb.  … it contains a lexical verb, which comes last; a finite verb which comes first; and an auxiliary verb [or verbs], which comes in between.  No other ordering of these three components is possible. …
Because there is very much less lexical material in the verbal group — only one lexical item, in fact — the experiential structure is extremely simple; and most of the semantic load is carried by the logical structure, including the tense system.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head & Thing: Construal

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 334):
In all such nominal expressions where Head and Thing are not conflated although both are clearly present, what is being construed is a phenomenon that from one point of view appears as a single entity and from another point of view as two.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Extended Numeratives: Measure Vs Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 334):
While measure items [aggregate, portion, quantum] delimit the Thing in terms of quantity, those of type [variety, facet, make-up] delimit it in terms of generality: some species of it, some aspect of it, or its composition.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head & Thing: Extended Numeratives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
They can be represented as a matrix of two variables: (i) measure (quantity) / type (quality), (ii) the set relationship of Head to Thing (collective (Head > Thing), partitive (Head < Thing), quantitative (Head = Thing)). What all these have in common is that, while the Thing is the entity that is functioning as participant in the transitivity structure of the clause, the logical Head of the construction is something that constrains the entity in terms of the two variables mentioned above. It is the Head that determines the value of the entity in the mood system, and therefore as a potential Subject.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing: Classifier As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
This occurs in examples such as the category of Subject, the concept of freedom, the city of Rome, where the Head word specifies the class to which the Thing is said to belong.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing: Epithet As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
This is a more restricted type in which the Head is almost always an attitudinal noun embodying some positive or more usually negative appraisal. For example … that monster of a skyscraper

Friday, 9 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing: Numerative As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
This may be cardinative or ordinative, definite or indefinite: three of those tiles, loads of money, the last of the survivors.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing: Deictic As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
All non-specific Deictics can function as Head in this construction; note that a(n), no, every become one, none, every one, and weak some [sm] becomes some.  For example, another one of my friends, some of that chicken liver paté

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 332):
What happens here is that one of the pre-modifying functions is taken on by something that is itself a nominal group, in such a way that the Thing gets embedded in a prepositional phrase with of, which then functions as post-Head Qualifier, as in a cup of tea. … Where the Head is dissociated from the Thing in this way, it can be conflated with any of the premodifying functions.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Premodifier: Word Complexes Vs Word Rank Embeddings

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 331-2):
The Premodifier can then be interpreted in logical terms as a hypotactic word complex.*  The Premodifier may accommodate hypotactic word complexes … and word rank embeddings … including compressed phrases and clauses … . The word complexes derive from the potential for logical expansion built into the noun as Head; the embeddings from the functional scope of the experiential configuration into which the noun enters as Thing.
* In previous editions the Postmodifier also was brought into the scope of the logical representation. But this appears to complicate the description without adding further to its explanatory power.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Head/Thing As Fulcrum

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 331):
The complex functional entity formed by the conflation of Head and Thing acts as the fulcrum of the nominal group: before it, as Premodifier, a sequence of words having distinct experiential functions; after it, as Postmodifier, one or more embedded items which may be prepositional phrase or non-finite or finite clause.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Epithet As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 331):
There is one functional environment in which we regularly find Epithet as Head, namely when the nominal group occurs as Attribute, typically in an attributive relational clause. … This type of nominal group (sometimes referred to distinctively as ‘adjectival group’) is unique in that it is normally unable to function as Subject in the clause. … Other than this type, Epithets and Classifiers do not normally function as Head. The exception is the superlative, which in other ways also (for exampe, place in sequence) resembles a Numerative of the ordering kind rather than an Epithet …

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Multivariate Structure [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 331):
… the type of structure exemplified by Deictic + Numerative + Epithet + Classifier + Thing we call a multivariate structure: a configuration of elements each having a distinct function with respect to the whole.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Univariate Structure [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 330-1):
What the logical analysis does is to bring out the hypotactic basis of premodification in the nominal group, which then also explains its penchant for generating long strings of nouns … .  We refer to this kind of structure as a univariate structure, one which is generated as an iteration of the same functional relationship: a is modified by b, which is modified by c, which is … [etc].

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Premodifier & Postmodifier

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 330):
The element following the Head is also a modifying element; we can distinguish the two positions by using the terms Premodifier and Postmodifier. The distinction is not a functional one, but depends on the rank of the modifying term; … But the Postmodifier does not itself enter into the logical structure, because it is not construed as a word complex.