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.