Friday, 24 February 2012

Propositions & Proposals

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

Grammatical Resources For Speech Functions

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

Offers & Commands

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

Ontogenesis Of Speech Function

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

Mood Tag

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

Fundamental Speech Rôles

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 107):
Even these elementary categories already involve complex notions: giving means ‘inviting to receive’, and demanding means ‘inviting to give’. The speaker is not only doing something himself; he is also requiring something of the listener. … giving implies receiving and demanding implies giving in response.

Clause As Exchange

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 106):
… the clause is also organised as an interactive event involving speaker, or writer, and audience. … In the act of speaking, the speaker adopts for himself a particular speech rôle, and in so doing assigns to the listener a complementary rôle which he wishes him to adopt in his turn.

Postposed Subject Vs Predicated Theme

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