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.